WINTERSVILLE - The committee reviewing applications for a Jefferson County Port Authority executive director has narrowed the list of applicants to seven and is preparing to conduct telephone interviews next week.
Port authority member Debbie Venci said Tuesday 19 applicants had submitted their resumes and the list was reduced to the seven candidates by the search committee.
"We will conduct the telephone interviews and try to narrow the list to three or four finalists and invite them here for a personal interview with the authority board. Our goal is to have an executive director in place by the end of the year," said Venci.
The person hired for the position will be the first executive director since the port authority was formed a year ago.
In related business, Venci said fundraising efforts is ongoing.
"We are preparing a list of possible donors and will be asking board members to make contact with potential individuals and businesses to seek private funding," declared Venci.
"On behalf of the county commissioners I can tell you we are excited and looking forward to having someone in that position as you move forward," said Jefferson County Commissioner David Maple.
In other business, authority members unanimously agreed to ask the county commissioners to transfer the mineral rights at the Jefferson County Industrial Park to the port authority.
"When we receive the official request, we will discuss it. We did something similar with the mineral rights at the Jefferson County Airpark. It is a natural move for the port authority to request this," said Maple.
The authority agreed to a marketing partnership with MAG Ventures of Columbus.
The board heard a proposal last month from Brian Hicks and Kevin Conroy, who are planning to manage a program that allows foreign investors to invest $500,000 in an American business and create 10 jobs for Americans in return for a temporary green card.
"This does not seem like a big risk for us and these appear to be solid people," said authority Chairman Jay Zatta.
The authority met for two hours and 15 minutes in an executive session with attorney Bill Blake to discuss the possible sale of property at the industrial park.
Zatta said later a special board meeting may be called to finalize the sale of property.
The board granted a six-month extension to Premier Pump to start construction on a building at the industrial park.
Premier Pump will be required to pay a $2,500 extension fee and submit architectural drawings of its proposed facility.
Board member Rob D'Anniballe submitted draft documents for three policies including a conflict of interest policy, ethics policy and policy governing in-kind contributions for review by the full board.
Port authority Manager Donna Hrezo said she is continuing to work on a standard document for the sale of property at the industrial park.
"I hope to have the document finalized by the November meeting," said Hrezo.
Hrezo also reported industrial park tenants are now starting to receive Internet service through Comcast.