Ohio's Electric Cooperatives


December 2017

Robust Site Development Activity is Refilling Ohio's Inventory of Immediately-Developable Properties

Ohio Map

Ohio consistently ranks as one of the top U.S. destinations for new corporate facilities, meaning prime sites are quickly snapped up. Economic development officials and private developers are working cooperatively to ensure the pipeline of immediately-developable sites stays full with diverse location opportunities.


SiteOhio is a JobsOhio program to help companies find the best location in Ohio. "As a site authentication program, SiteOhio goes beyond the usual site-certification process, putting properties through a comprehensive review and analysis," says Phil Smith, JobsOhio project manager.


To support communities and property owners with high quality industrial sites in territory served by Ohio's Electric Cooperatives (OEC), OEC recently awarded grants of $15,000 each to help the following four sites work toward SiteOhio certification.



Prime opportunity at lower cost

Rock Mill

With its abundant water resources and infrastructure with capacity for significant growth, Rock Mill's Ady-Austin Certified Shovel Ready sites are ideally situated for food processing and manufacturing.

"Economically speaking, the Fairfield 33 Corridor far surpasses other locations in the central Ohio region," states Michael Pettit, Director of Economic Development for the City of Lancaster. "The Corridor delivers much more of what today's businesses and their employees seek including low property and sales taxes, low labor and construction costs, affordable choices in transportation, and a low cost of living."


Rock Mill Industrial Park, which is located in the Fairfield 33 Corridor, was developed in the 1990s, encompassed more than 500 acres, and is Ady-Austin Certified Shovel Ready. Years of successful development have reduced Rock Mill's developable land to 185 acres with the largest contiguous site having 42 acres. To offer a larger single-user site, the Lancaster CIC is developing the 122-acre Ruble property which is located directly across State Route 33, a four-lane limited-access highway.


The Ruble site was recently zoned for heavy industrial use and is fully served by all utilities. The SiteOhio certification process is underway. "The OEC grant funds will be used to complete a Phase 1 environmental site assessment, geotechnical study, and wetlands delineation," says Rick Lemonds, president and CEO of South Central Power. Lemonds continues, "For the Rock Mill site, the OEC grant will be used for the archeological and culture report and for creation of a drone video showing the site, existing development in the industrial park, and the surrounding community." 

Exceptional infrastructure ideal for food processing, packaging and glass-related products


"The nation's food and beverage supply chain runs through the State of Ohio. This sector of the economy generates billions of dollars of economic output, and there are hundreds of innovative companies throughout Ohio helping to reshape the industry," said Columbus 2020 President and CEO Kenny McDonald.

Food and Beverage Companies

Food and beverage companies in the Columbus region generate $1.9 billion in annual economic output.

"The Columbus Region is aggressively working to grow the food and beverage industry by creating unique collaborations between The Ohio State University and individual firms, investing in sites and buildings that can help companies expand, and leveraging access to major markets in the Midwest and East Coast."

Both Rock Mill and the Ruble property benefit from access to Lancaster’s vast water resources, new wastewater processing plant, and very reliable electrical service. The sites are particularly well-suited for food and beverage processing, glass production and other packaging processes, advanced manufacturing facilities, and other users seeking:

Ruble property

The 122-acre Ruble property on Whiley Road in Lancaster is zoned for heavy industrial; SiteOhio certification is in process

Abundant water from huge underground aquifers with two well fields; 2.0-million-gallon water storage dedicated to the industrial park; 8.0 MGD capacity


• City-operated non-profit gas utility with redundant feeds from two suppliers drawing from three regions (Wyoming Basin, Utica/Marcellus, and Gulf of Mexico)


• Highly reliable electrical service fed by five substations in the immediate area


• Solar power — a 4-acre, 650 KW solar farm is located in Rock Mill Industrial Park; the solar project is a collaboration between Buckeye Power, South Central Power and the Lancaster Area CIC


• Transportation — immediately-adjacent to limited-access four-lane highway; geographically located within a one-day drive of 60% of the U.S. population


To minimize electrical blinks and outages, South Central Power engineered the capability to back-feed the industrial park from nearby substations and has a long-standing robust maintenance program to continually upgrade or replace older components and wiring. Overall system capacity is monitored and substations in high-growth areas are prepared in advance for additional transformers and capacity.


For more info about the Rock Mill or Ruble properties, contact Michael Pettit at (740) 687-6670, ext. 210 or [email protected]. To view video and drone imagery of the sites, visit www.ci.lancaster.oh.us.



Eastern Ohio industrial park prepared for growth

Eastpointe Business Park

AVON Products Distribution Center, Halliburton Energy Services, Bilco Company's manufacturing facility and East Balt Bakery are located in Eastpointe Business Park. This site plan shows a possible layout for the newly-developed area.

The 1,200-acre Eastpointe Business Park located 2.5 miles north of Interstate 70 and just east of Zanesville, Ohio is home to three Fortune 500 companies involved in food processing, manufacturing, and oilfield services. The Zanesville-Muskingum County community has earned a reputation for meeting businesses' needs and offers an abundant workforce with 309,000 potential employees within a 45-minute drive of Eastpointe.


"To meet the continuing demand for large immediately-developable sites, the OEC grant was used to complete feasibility and engineering studies for a 250-acre undeveloped tract in Eastpointe," states Matt Abbott, Executive Director of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority.


Brian Bennett, Manager of Marketing and Member Services for Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative, Inc., adds, "The feasibility studies included earthwork calculations to determine how much dirt needs to be moved to create viable sites in addition to the already-prepared 100-acre compacted pad. Preliminary geotechnical borings were also completed. The studies resulted in a new site plan showing viable sites."


For more info about Eastpointe, contact Matt Abbott at (740) 455-0742 or [email protected].



Where American manufacturing thrives


"Cheap energy, available sites with abundant water, Ohio’s logistics sweet spot and a skilled workforce means manufacturing flourishes in southern and eastern Ohio," states Tom Poorman, Project Manager for Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) which supports 25 Appalachian-designated Ohio counties including Muskingum and Gallia Counties. Poorman continues, "Ohio's Appalachian region has a rare mix of assets for locating or growing manufacturing thanks to abundant and inexpensive energy, water resources, and a skilled manufacturing workforce that enjoys a remarkably lower cost of living."


Concentration of workforce assets

The food processing and manufacturing roots run generations deep in Gallia County where Bob Evans, founder of Bob Evans Restaurants, began making sausage on his farm. Agribusiness and food processing remain a thriving industry region-wide with the Bellisio Foods and General Mills plants in neighboring Jackson County.

strategic location

GKN Sinter Metals Inc., ElectroCraft, Ohio Valley Trackwork, and the Dan Evans Industrial Park all benefit from Gallia County's skilled, experienced manufacturing workforce and a strategic location for sourcing parts and transporting products.


Manufacturing sweet spot


"The Dan Evans Industrial Park optimizes the regional assets in a location less than a mile from four-lane US Route 35," shares Melissa Clark, Gallia County Economic and Community Development Director. "The OEC grant will pay to perform the archeological investigation, wetlands delineation, and endangered species survey and help prepare the site for immediate development. The 77-acre industrial site is a premier industrial development opportunity, particularly for companies in food processing and manufacturing, transportation sector manufacturing and assembly, and wood products manufacturing."


"Completing the due diligence and earning SiteOhio certification will give the Dan Evans Industrial Park the visibility it deserves," notes Kent Eldridge, V.P. Member Services for Buckeye Rural Electric Co-op, Inc. "The park has ample utilities to meet sizable loads."


For more info about Dan Evans Industrial Park, contact Melissa Clark at (740) 446-4612, ext. 271 or [email protected].

Economic development competitiveness demands talent

"The ability to attract talent is a quality of life issue," stated Griff Salmon, principal for VisionFirst Advisors, at Ohio's Electric Cooperatives' Economic Development Session on October 4, 2017. "As site selectors, we first screen for the basics—the site, utilities and infrastructure. The sites that continue to hold our attention are those with an experienced workforce and a desirable quality of life."

Southeastern Ohio

Spectacular natural amenities and affordable cost of living attract both residents and businesses to southeastern Ohio.

For more information about additional available, development-ready sites throughout central, eastern and southern Ohio and the skilled workforces in these regions, contact Dennis Mingyar at Ohio's Electric Cooperatives.

NREDA Rural Economic Development Leadership Award Presented to Dennis Mingyar

NREDA logo

Members of the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) attended the Association's annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, November 1-3, 2017. Honored at the NREDA Awards Luncheon was Dennis Mingyar, Director of Economic Development, Ohio's Electric Cooperatives as a "2017 NREDA Rural Economic Development Leadership Award" recipient.


The Rural Economic Development Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leadership in the field of rural economic development. Dennis Mingyar was nominated and chosen by a select group of past presidents representing electric and telephone cooperatives from across the nation.

Eric Phillips, NREDA Past President (2011) states, "I have had the chance to work with Dennis on the NREDA Board as well as with him in his daily job at Buckeye Power. Dennis is a champion for rural economic development not only in Ohio, but also nationally. He is well deserving of this recognition as he has made difference with so many people in our industry."


NREDA is a vital network of rural economic development professionals providing expertise and national leadership on rural issues.


(L to R) Jim Vermeer, Corn Belt Power Cooperative and President of NREDA presenting award to Dennis Mingyar, OEC; Linda Salmonson, East River Electric Cooperative; and Mike Meissen, Iowa Area Development Group

It is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of its membership through ongoing education and networking programs, while serving as an information source and conduit for developers, site selectors and prospective businesses to NREDA members and the areas they serve.


Buckeye Power and Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives can help with:

  • Comprehensive site and building portfolios
  • Preliminary site studies
  • Site search tours
  • Assistance in identifying financial incentives
  • Electric rate analyses
  • Community profiles
  • State and local government contacts
  • Contractor introductions


Touchstone Energy Cooperatives

NET Conference 2018

February 5-7, 2018
St. Petersburg, Florida


Industrial Asset Management Council

(IAMC) Spring Professional Forum

May 4-9, 2018
Savannah, Georgia

Dennis Mingyar

Contact Us
Dennis Mingyar
Ohio's Electric Cooperatives
6677 Busch Boulevard
Columbus, OH 43229
[email protected]