Building chip factories could benefit New Philadelphia, mayor says
NEW PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Joel Day said the ripple effect of building two computer chip factories in Licking County could reach New Philadelphia and Tuscarawas County.
Chip giant Intel said Friday it will invest $20 billion to build two computer chip factories in what will be Ohio’s largest economic development project to date.
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The factories, called fabs, will employ 3,000 workers with an average salary of $135,000 per year. In addition to this, the project is expected to create 7,000 construction jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs.
Thirty companies supplying Intel should settle on the site, creating even more jobs. There are approximately 140 companies in Ohio that currently supply Intel.
“I have no doubt that Intel’s economic benefits will also extend to Tuscarawas County and New Philadelphia due to our locations along Interstate 77,” Day told City Council Monday.
“Intel’s suppliers no longer have to be in China or India. They can be in our county and city, within two hours of both chip factories. The challenge now is for us to reach out to these suppliers , to let them know the advantages of our location and our quality of life.”
He said his administration and city council prepared New Philadelphia for such an opportunity by improving infrastructure, building bike and pedestrian paths and boat ramps along the Tuscarawas River, revitalizing downtown city and supporting area schools and Kent State University in Tuscarawas.
These schools will educate and train the next generation of skilled workers, he said.
“I’ve always believed that the assets we have in our community make it competitive and the best city in the county to live, raise a family and do business,” Day said.
In other economic development news, the mayor told council that he and the board of directors of the New Philadelphia Business and Community Association will meet this week with Francis Jo Hamilton, director of revitalization for Heritage Ohio.
They will discuss the possibility of Heritage Ohio doing a downtown assessment.
“An assessment would provide an honest view of the strengths and weaknesses of our downtown and what it will take to develop a solid plan for growth and sustainability,” Day said.
The city would contribute $2,500 to the project, with money coming from the mayor’s economic development budget. The total cost will be $5,000, with the trade association contributing the remainder.
In other cases counsel:
• Heard from Director of Services, Ron McAbier, reported on the projects that will be implemented this year in the city.
A watermain improvement project will be carried out at Park Lane Drive. Approximately 2,000 feet of 12-inch line and approximately 500 feet of 6-inch line will be installed beginning in July. The work should last about four weeks.
Around the same time, improvements will be made on Glen Drive. The street was heavily damaged by a storm in the summer of 2020. The city received a state grant for the project, which will pay to rebuild approximately 1,000 feet of the 2,100-foot road. The work will be carried out in phases.
The city also has plans on the drawing board to build a storm sewer line to help alleviate flooding issues at the intersection of W. High Avenue and Fourth Street, he said.
• I heard McAbier thank the city employees who helped clean up the city streets during the winter storm on Martin Luther King Day. Councilors Dan Lanzer and Kelly Ricklic and Councilor Cheryl Ramos also offered praise.
• Heard Day reports that the city received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to pay 100% of the cost of erecting a new airport beacon on Tech Park Drive NE. The beacon will be located on city property near the water reservoir at the top of the hill. The cost is $77,970. The work will be carried out by Perram Electric of Wadsworth, the lowest bidder for the project.
The new beacon will use the latest lighting technology to make nighttime navigation to Harry Clever Field safer for airmen. The City Airport Commission is also working on upgrading taxiways and lighting on the grounds over the next two years.
• Heard the mayor report that the administration’s negotiating team will resume negotiations on a new three-year contract with the police on Friday. Negotiations will resume next Monday with the firefighters’ union. Talks with service and office units of the American Federation of Workers’ Union from states, counties and city municipalities will continue in February.
Negotiations on new three-year agreements have been put on hold until the city receives updated health insurance information, Day said. All units are working under contract extensions that expired on December 31.