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7:30 p.m. Progress Alliance studies port authority

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August 17, 2010
By PAUL GIANNAMORE, Business editor

STEUBENVILLE -- Progress Alliance is forming a committee to panel to move ahead with plans to create a Jefferson County Port Authority.

Ed Looman, executive director of Progress Alliance, the public-private economic development organization, explained the port authority is a powerful economic development tool that would give the county "another tool in the economic development belt."

Looman said he's been talking with Norm Blanchard, a former city resident who now is executive director of economic development for Guernsey County. Looman explained Guernsey County uses a Community Improvement Corp. like the body that oversees Progress Alliance, as well as a port authority, both operating out of one organization.

Article Video

Interview with Ed Florak at Steubenville City Hall following the Community Improvement Corp. meeting

Ed Florak, Progress Alliance's treasurer and retired college president and business consultant, will head the study group.

Looman said he hopes for a joint agency to avoid any confusion on where to go to get assistance in economic development.

Looman said port authorities have powers to levy taxes or generate revenues for specific economic development project as needed.

Florak noted the city of Steubenville has a port authority but it has been inactive for years.

For more about Tuesday afternoon's Community Improvement Corp. meeting, which was held in the Pugliese Conference Room at City Hall, see Wednesday's print edition or visit

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