State budget cuts were a topic of concern today at the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority meeting.
The state may be cutting 50 percent of the Department of Development’s budget. The department helps the Port Authority attract new businesses by providing things like tax credits and funding for roadway projects.
If that assistance is no longer available companies may look to other states that offer incentives.
“When you have major projects that you’re competing with we want to make sure that the scales aren’t tipped in favor of Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania or Michigan that the state of Ohio remains competitive from the state perspective,” says Jerry Nolder, executive director of the Port Authority
Nolder says they’re currently lobbying legislators to keep funding for the department. They’ll find out when the budget is passed July 1st.
In the meantime the Port Authority and Chamber of Commerce are making plans to retain businesses already in the area.
“We’re going to local businesses and trying to visit business owners and see if there’s anything we can do to assist them through this tough economic time,” he says.
In other Port Authority business, the Granger Drive project is moving along as planned. They will begin laying asphalt after the 4th of July and the roadway should be complete by the end of July.