The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Work on an 800 megawatt gas-fired electric generating plant got underway last year in Oregon.

The long awaited project, Oregon Clean Energy LLC, will employ 450 construction jobs during the three year construction phase, 25 full-time permanent workers once it becomes operational, and have a total annual payroll of about $3.2 million

The power plant, which will use clean natural gas in combustion turbines to produce electricity, will be located on a 30-acre site at 816 Lallendorf Road.

The city has been working with the developer, North America Project Development LLC, a Boston-based energy group, and the Oregon Clean Energy team, to facilitate the project.

The plant will consist of two natural gas fired turbines that are combined cycle units. They generate electricity by burning natural gas but use the heat given off from the natural gas burners to create steam and generate additional watts with a steam turbine. They are projecting that the new plant will generate enough new electricity to power over 500,000 homes per year.

The construction of the plant will provide over $800 million in new investment to the northwest Ohio region and the state.

“It’s the largest new industrial project in the region,” Administrator Mike Beazley said last week.

The industrial project is the biggest for Oregon in a generation

“It’s finally come to fruition. It’s under construction now. We’re excited to see it finally get to this next stage. The development stage took four years. Now it’s nice to have it under construction,” said Beazley.

It’s expected to be completed in the summer of 2017, he added.

Navarre upgrades
The city is also in the engineering phase of the Navarre Avenue safety project, which consists of the construction of a median on Navarre with seven U-turn or “turnarounds” located between Munding Drive and Isaac Streets Drive.

Officials wanted the improvements to reduce a high rate of traffic accidents on Navarre. The biggest problem in the area is when motorists try to make a left turn out of the drives closest to the intersection of Navarre and Wheeling.

The $2.7 million project will be mostly offset by a $2.4 million safety grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The city kicked in an additional $1 million to upgrade Navarre to make it more attractive.

“It will be easier for our residents, and those people who want to be our customers on Navarre, to get in and out safely to do business in Oregon. We think we’ll end up with a more attractive and a safer part of our business district,” said Beazley.

The construction phase won’t be until 2016, said Beazley.


Water and sewer
The city has been in the process of making upgrades to its water and sewer treatment plants.

“There’s millions of dollars of work already done at the wastewater plant and water plant with a lot underway for both projects that will pay off for our residents and businesses for many years to come,” said Beazley..

In accordance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, the city is required to increase the secondary treatment capacity of its wastewater treatment plant from 24 million gallons per day (MGD) to 36 MGD to eliminate secondary treatment bypasses and sanitary sewer collection system overflows during wet weather events. The project will be constructed in two phases over the next four years.

Last September, city council approved a $295,000 contract with ARCADIS, US Inc., for additional design engineering services for raw water treatment improvements to the water treatment plant.

Water treatment plants typically use activated carbon to treat algae. Oregon plans a $13 million upgrade that will add the use of ozone in the pretreatment process that is very effective in treating microcystin, the toxic algae that caused a water crisis in Toledo last summer.

Ozone also reduces the use of chlorine and its byproduct, trihalomethane (THM), an environmental pollutant, in the treatment process. Ingesting high levels of trihalomethane over time can cause liver, kidney, and central nervous system problems. It can also pose an increased risk of cancer.

The city expects designs to be completed this year, and bid the project in the fall. Construction will begin in the middle of 2016.

Industry & commercial
Expansions are underway for Autoneum and Fresenius, according to Beazley.

A new 40,000 square foot building is under construction at Rieter Automotive, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Autoneum, in the Cedar Point business park.

Sixty jobs will be added to the workforce for manufacturing/distribution at the facility located on Spartan Drive. The expansion will be for the production of the Ford 150, with assembly in Michigan, Kansas and Mexico. These parts will be manufactured in Oregon and shipped to those locations for further assembly.

The estimated cost of the project is $1.8 million.

It will bring the total space of Autoneum, not counting its main plant, to 250,000 square feet.

Fresenius, a medical care facility in Oregon, is adding 50,000 square feet to its facility. The company is moving part of its manufacturing from California to Oregon.

Additionally, Advanced Engineering, which had planned on leaving Oregon and moving to Michigan, has decided to stay put. “They will stay in Oregon, and will remain actively engaged with a strong work force,” said Beazley.


Senior center
The city last year purchased a building for $850,000 for a new senior center at 4350 Navarre Avenue.

The facility is more centrally located, which many seniors had wanted over the years, compared to the previous senior center on Bay Shore Road, which is considered outdated for seniors’ needs.

Part of the building is being leased by an insurance company. It has up to 13,500 square feet. Approximately 6,500 square feet will be devoted for senior activities.

The city will also receive about $200,000 in the next two years from the existing lease. The rental income will cover the costs of improvements to the new facility, such as a new kitchen.

Services will include meals, transportation, expanding portal gateway outreach or social work services, expanding health coaching or exercise programs in areas such as medicine or pain, chore services, and traditional senior activities.

The facility is expected to open this month

The city collects $210,000 each year in revenue from a 0.5 mill five year senior levy passed by Oregon voters in 2013 to support senior services.

 

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