Richland County courthouse

Richland County Courthouse

MANSFIELD -- The Richland County Development Group on Tuesday submitted the lone bid to provide economic development services for the county.

County commissioners opened the bid during a brief executive session with Rachel Troyer, the county's central services coordinator.

In January, commissioners appropriated $100,000 for the effort in 2021 and sought proposals for the work.

Troyer will review the proposal and return to a future commissioners' meeting with a recommendation. The contract would likely be one year with up to five one-year renewals.

Commissioners could accept the RCDG bid, reject it or negotiate with the economic development entity.

"Whether it's one bid or 10, we review them all," Commissioner Tony Vero said.

In seeking the proposals, commissioners said it would be the county's first formal economic development effort.

Calling it in an investment in business attraction, retention and expansion, commissioners said the funding demonstrates the county's commitment to economic growth.

"It's fun and cute for elected officials to say, 'Oh, we need to bring more jobs into the area.' I think this is a way of saying we are serious," Vero said in January. "I think by and large most (county) residents would be pleased with such an expenditure."

RCDG became a part of Richland Area Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development in 2017. 

The county will use half of its $200,000 rebate received in February from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to fund the work.

Also on Tuesday, commissioners approved a revised enterprise zone for Major Metals. The tax abatement for the company will now be 60 percent over 10 years, revised from 50 percent over 15 years.

The abatement was initially approved by commissioners on April 20. Major Metals Co. plans another 48,000 square-foot expansion at its 844 Kochheiser Road facility, adding 16 new jobs and an additional $800,000 in payroll over the next three years.

The company currently employs 90 workers, according to Jotika Shetty, executive director of the Richland County Regional Planning Commission.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"