JobsOhio makes grant offer to Global Cooling

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JobsOhio has offered Global Cooling $250,000 in grant money for the Athens County company’s expansion, according to a county economic development official, who also said there is a separate $228,805 grant offer for road improvements.

Global Cooling is located at Theisen Industrial Park near The Plains, in a building owned by the Athens County Port Authority. On Wednesday, the Port Authority’s board was briefed on the JobsOhio offer by Sara Marrs-Maxfield, who is secretary to the board and executive director of the Athens County Economic Development Council.

Marrs-Maxfield said JobsOhio has offered the company a $100,000 workforce development grant and a $150,000 economic development grant. The $228,805 in road improvement funding would come from the Ohio Development Services Agency.

A JobsOhio spokesman would only say that JobsOhio does not publicly discuss grant proposals until there is an executed agreement.

Athens County Road 110 (Poston Station) runs in front of the Global Cooling building. Last week, County Engineer Jeff Maiden asked the county commissioners to seek bids for a Poston Station Road rehabilitation project estimated to cost $228,805. The bid opening is scheduled April 30.

Maiden explained there is already a contract to pave the road this summer, but the grant funding would allow additional strengthening of the road.

Global Cooling, which manufactures and sells Stirling Ultracold freezers, has not released details of its growth plans, but discussed it in general terms in written comments submitted to The Messenger last week.

“We are delighted with the potential of assistance from the state of Ohio to expand the capacity at our world-class manufacturing facility in Athens (County),” stated Neill Lane, president and CEO of Global Cooling.

The company said it is investing heavily in new products, manufacturing capacity, facility improvements and organizational growth, and that the JobsOhio funding would allow the company to expand the scope of facility improvements.

In February, company officials met with the Port Authority and, according to minutes of the meeting, said the company wants to move work done in Kentucky to Athens County.

At their meeting Wednesday, the Port Authority approved hiring York Paving for $44,031 to build a gravel parking lot that would add 48 additional parking spaces for Global Cooling. Marrs-Maxfield said JobsOhio likes to see a local participation for projects it funds, and the parking lot expansion would count toward that participation.

The board authorized Global Cooling to install, at its own expense, a partition wall in the building. Brett Harris, vice president of manufacturing for Global Cooling, said the work would allow delineation of spaces for design development and research and development.