Hail has silver lining for port

EAST LIVERPOOL – Last month’s hail storm will mean more business for the Columbiana County Port Authority, at least on a temporary basis.

The port board agreed Monday to lease 11,000 square feet of warehouse space and another 800 square feet of office space to the Banner Supply Co. With locations in Youngstown, Warren, Cleveland and Greensburg, Pa., Banner is a major supplier of roofing, siding, window, spouting, and heating and air conditioning materials.

“They’re doing a lot of repair work after the recent hail storm, and this has the potential to turn into something long term,” said port authority CEO Tracy Drake.

Company president Richard Abel was contacted afterwards and he said they have several contractors in the southern part of the county who purchase their supplies from them. The contractors are active in repairing roof damage caused by the May 14 storm that rained down hail the size of golf balls in the Calcutta and East Liverpool areas.

Renting warehouse space at the port authority’s Louthan property gives Banner a place where contractors can come to get the materials they need, along with dumpsters that will also be stored there.

“This is not a huge area we’re leasing,” Abel said.

The lease is $1,800 per month and is month-to-month, with Banner responsible for up to $500 per month in utilities.

Drake noted they are familiar with Banner, noting the company’s Youngstown operations are located on the former port authority railroad property that was recently sold to MarkWest Energy Partners.