CADIZ, Ohio - Village Council heard about oil and gas progress in Harrison County from Rich Milleson, economic coordinator for Cadiz Community Improvement Corp., who said growth from the shale boom could lift the community to city status.
Milleson said the MarkWest processing plant is on schedule to open by the end of the year, and he noted Chevron has announced it is looking for venues to locate field offices in the Cadiz area.
Milleson predicted the resulting permanent jobs will increase the population of the village of just more than 3,000 residents to more than 5,000 - Ohio's required population for city status - in as little as two years. Milleson also expressed concern that the village is not prepared for the growth and said that could deter potential development.
"We are currently locked and cannot add any new sewer hook-ups, we cannot afford the gradual upgrade of the system," Milleson said. "We have local landowners and business wanting to develop land, put in housing and apartment complexes, but we can not accommodate them."
Village Solicitor Costa Mastros told council that ongoing discussions between the village and Kokosing Construction regarding a plan to fund replacement of Cadiz's antiquated sewer system could be reaching a conclusion.
"The original deal had the water and sewer programs interlocked," Mastros said. "The new proposal allows us the option to split the two programs. ... The water sales will create revenue and will defer the cost and fund Phase II, but the sewer plant construction of Phase III will require a loan or grants to accomplish."
Mayor Ken Zitko assured Milleson that council has been working with the EPA and Kokosing to facilitate the project.
"This is a very significant investment," said Zitko. "We are locked into a commitment and a timeline, and we will most likely vote on the master agreement next meeting."
"The situation is getting critical," said Kenny Mason of CIC, echoing Milleson's concerns. "We have to move on our findings and orders."