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Port Authority considering relocation due to problems with building

October 22, 2012
Morning Journal News

LISBON - The Columbiana County Port Authority is considering relocating due to problems with its current building in East Liverpool's East End.

With the north wall of the possibly 100-year-old building showing signs of deterioration, the port board has asked for information on what it will take to repair the building. Estimates have come back at between $80,000 and $300,000.

The building was the former Patterson Industries Building, which port CEO Tracy Drake said was built sometime between 1910 and 1920. The port authority has called the building home for more than 30 years, utilizing 22,000 square feet of office space along with seven other tenants.

Board member Tim Weigle still had several questions about making the repairs. First was his concern about the possibility of asbestos in the building, noting if there was asbestos the cost of making structural repairs could increase dramatically.

Additionally, Weigle questioned the safety of having employees working in the building while a wall is being torn down.

"Let's not subject any employees or yourself to that kind of danger," Weigle said to Drake.

He suggested the port authority could find another place for its offices, especially during the winter if work is going to happen at their current location. Drake said there is empty space in the building in Leetonia where Consol is located, however, he thought that business may also have need to expand into that space at some point.

Weigle said the high end estimate is $320,000 and for that amount the building could be torn down and a parking lot created.

The current office of the port authority was not the only location the board discussed during its recent meeting. Other areas of concern was a building on the other end of the East End, the former Ferro Building or Loutham Building. Concerns about the roof leaking and deterioration, especially in the middle of the building, were brought up.

After the meeting, Drake said there is always the possibility of tearing the middle out of the building and creating trucking docks for the two ends, which are still in good condition. The building has been used as an incubator in the past, but currently is being used by several tenants for storage.

Additionally, the board discussed a small amount of damage to the sprayed-on stucco at the Consol building in Leetonia. One possibility is putting metal siding over the area, which would prevent further problems.



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