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This page offers blog posts, news articles and events surrounding Athens County economic and community development efforts.

 

OU Innovation Center receives $1 million grant for facility upgrades

By OU Compass The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1.15 million grant to the Ohio University Innovation Center to support facility improvements at the internationally renowned business incubator. The grant will allow the Innovation Center to add new biotechnology laboratories and light manufacturing spaces as well as improve several features […]

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Athens asked to foot $1.8 million bill for Bailey’s trail project

A cyclist is pictured riding on a trail at Strouds Run State Park. An 88-mile Baileys Mountain Bike Trail is proposed for Wayne National Forest. Local officials have said the project would bring significant tourism to Athens County if built. Messenger file photo. By Heather Willard Messenger Staff Journalist Note: This story appears in the […]

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Commissioners, Glouster officials seek to share old Dollar General building

There are talks of having Athens County and the village of Glouster share the former Dollar General building. It is owned by the county. Messenger file photo. By Heather Willard Messenger Staff Journalist Plans for the old Dollar General building in Glouster, now in the hands of Athens County, have just about been settled. The […]

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Intelliwave continues discussions on sewer project

September 4th 2019 By Heather Willard Concerns over efficiency were discussed but not resolved during the Tuesday morning Athens County Commissioners meeting involving the Route 50 sanitary sewer project. The project, now estimated to cost $34.5 million, is aimed at providing sanitary sewer service to housing subdivisions along Route 50 west of Athens. The city […]

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Housing at The Ridges under consideration

Pictured is one building of the former Athens Lunatic Asylum, now known as The Ridges. Local and university officials have discussed adding affordable housing at The Ridges. Messenger file photo. By Heather Willard Messenger Staff Journalist Athens City Council met in several committees on Monday night, with members mulling the possibility of placing affordable housing […]

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County issuing $1.5 million bond for new OhioMeansJobs location

The OhioMeansJobs office is moving from The Plains to a building on West Union Street in Athens. The office gives Athens County adults a chance at job training and GED prep. Program supervisor Joe McGowan (on left) and instructor Scott Hatfield are seen in the classroom in this 2018 file photo. Messenger file photo. By […]

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Bonds may be issued for Wayne mountain bike trails

By STEVE ROBB Messenger staff journalist A cyclist rides on Scatter Ridge Trail at Strouds Run State Park. Messenger file photo Bond financing to help pay for creating the Baileys Trail System in the Wayne National Forest is being proposed, and on Wednesday the Athens County Port Authority was asked to consider issuing the bonds. […]

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Buckeye Rural Electric lands $19 million USDA loan to improve service in Athens County

Rio Grande, Ohio-based Buckeye Rural Electric is among cooperatives in 10 states that will receive more than $181 million to upgrade systems and equipment, according to USDA Ohio Rural Development State Director David L. Hall. Athens County is one of the counties where upgrades will occur. “For more than 80 years now, USDA has been […]

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Rocky Brands breaks ground on distribution center expansion

Rocky Brands is undergoing a 94,000-square-foot expansion of its Hocking County distribution center in Logan. The current distribution center covers nearly 192,000 square feet. A groundbreaking event was held on Aug. 19. In addition, according to a news release, Rocky Brands is planning for additional job growth at its corporate headquarters in Nelsonville. The project […]

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Athens County Economic Development Council hires assistant director

The Athens County Economic Development Council (ACEDC) has offered Mollie Fitzgerald a newly created assistant director position beginning Aug. 6. Mollie brings with her experience in economic and business development, having served as the ACEDC’s Project Specialist from 2015 to 2017. She has worked in private, public and nonprofit sectors, most recently serving as Live […]

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New wastewater plant seen as boon to Albany development

By Heather Willard Messenger Staff Journalist ALBANY — Improvements to the village wastewater treatment plant might pay major dividends in terms of future economic development, local officials hope. The recent work is part of a broader goal to better the village’s infrastructure. Village Council members and Mayor Tim Kirkendall see this as another piece in […]

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Cost estimate for Route 50 sewer project jumps $6 million

By STEVE ROBB Messenger staff journalist The estimated construction cost of the Route 50W sanitary sewer project has risen by nearly $6 million, prompting the Athens County Commissioners to seek additional federal funding for the project. At their meeting Tuesday, the commissioners authorized submission of paperwork to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to seek funding […]

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Eclipse restaurant business being sold, Kiser’s Barbeque seeks to expand in Athens

August 14, 2019 Wanting to concentrate on expanding Kiser’s Barbeque in Athens, the restaurant business Sean Kiser operates at Eclipse Company Store in The Plains is being sold, he said. Kiser has operated Kiser’s Barbeque in the Market on State for just over 10 years, and has run the restaurant at Eclipse Company Store for […]

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Community creates a ‘bounty’ for local food pantries

By Cole Behrens Click here to read original story in the Athens News. Attendees at Bounty on the Bricks Saturday evening in uptown Athens enjoyed dry and sunny weather, great food and drink, bonhomie with fellow community members, and the knowledge they were contributing to a good cause, local food pantries. This seventh annual charitable […]

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Sizable grant awarded for upgrades to OU Innovation Center

By STEVE ROBB Messenger staff journalist. Note: This story appears in the Friday, Aug. 2 newspaper on Page A1. Ohio University has been awarded a $1.15 million federal grant for upgrades to the OU Innovation Center, a business incubator located on West State Street in Athens. The project will focus on upgrading the building’s infrastructure, […]

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Transit line debuts in Nelsonville, Albany

By DELANEY MURRAY For The Messenger Athens Public Transit service is now available in Nelsonville and Albany. Two ribbon cuttings were held on Wednesday, and kids were invited aboard a public bus to check out the accommodations. Messenger photos by John Halley NELSONVILLE — Residents of Nelsonville and Albany will now have increased transportation all […]

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Eminent domain steps taken by county on Route 50 sewer project

By STEVE ROBB Messenger staff journalist. Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, July 31 newspaper on Page A3. Resolutions allowing the use of eminent domain in the Route 50 sanitary sewer project were approved Tuesday by the Athens County Commissioners. Frank Lavelle, the county’s attorney for the project, said he expects to file cases […]

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Park’s Place in Amesville now open

By Heather Willard Messenger Staff Journalist Messenger photo by Heather Willard. AMESVILLE — The initial days inside the downtown Amesville building with the word “RESTAURANT” along its side brick wall have been joyous, work-filled occasions. Inside, it’s been hustle and bustle as many friends and family members have worked diligently to realize the dreams of […]

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Local winery’s new restaurant celebrates grand opening

Grapes growing in abundance at the Shade Winery, southeast of Athens. The winery’s new restaurant, The Terrace Cafe, is celebrating its grand opening this week and weekend.  Click here to read the original story in the Athens News. The new restaurant at Shade Winery southeast of Athens held a ribbon-cutting on Wednesday, and will celebrate its […]

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Distillery seeks to become staple of Athens’ west side

By Heather Willard Messenger Staff Journalist Messenger photo by Heather Willard.  A new distillery has quietly been in the works on the Athens west side for over a year now, but the owner and operator, Kelly Sauber, hopes to have the business open this fall. Sauber is well known in the Athens community as a […]

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What the new state budget means for our area

By TYLER BUCHANAN Messenger editor The “great hall” of the former First Christian Church in Athens — now home to the Southeast Ohio History Center — will be renovated for use as exhibit and conference space. The history museum received $100,000 in state funding toward the project as part of the $69 billion two-year budget […]

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Glouster group works to revitalize north-county village

JoAnn Rockhold, left, and Jane Cavarozzi are members of the Glouster Revitalization Organization, which is attempting to bring economic development to Glouster. They’re pictured here at Glouster’s First Fridays event in early June. Photo by Conor Morris. By Conor Morris Click here to read the original story in the Athens News. A dedicated group of […]

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Completion date for RXQ’s new manufacturing facility is extended

By STEVE ROBB Messenger staff journalist The completion date for a local company to complete an expansion project was extended Tuesday by the Athens County Commissioners as part of a tax abatement the company will be receiving. In February, the commissioners delayed the abatement for one year at the request on RXQ Compounding, which has […]

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New mural reflects history of Stimson Avenue area

By STEVE ROBB Messenger staff journalist Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, July 10 newspaper on Page A1. A mural being painted on Stimson Avenue in Athens gives a nod to the brick industry that operated in that area during the late 1800s and early 1900s. “The goal here was to celebrate the history […]

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Commissioners may share building with Glouster

By STEVE ROBB Messenger staff journalist.  Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, July 10 newspaper on Page A1. Although details need to be worked out, the Athens County Commissioners said Tuesday that they are open to the idea of sharing the former Dollar General building in Glouster with the village. “We’re going to try […]

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