Reynoldsburg development director Lucas Haire will leave that city to take a similar post in Canal Winchester, effective Aug. 1.

Reynoldsburg development director Lucas Haire will leave that city to take a similar post in Canal Winchester, effective Aug. 1.

Canal Winchester Mayor Mike Ebert made the announcement today, July 26.

Haire succeeds Chris Strayer, who stepped down in June to take a position with the Ohio Department of Development.

Strayer had been at Canal Winchester for four years; his most recent annual salary was $65,000. Haire's salary will be between $61,150 and $70,000, according to finance director Nanisa Osborn.

Osborn said the city expects an economic upswing, following a difficult period nationally.

"The last three years have been very difficult economically in Canal Winchester, and the state of Ohio and the nation," she said. "I would expect the next three years will show us a cleaner, clearer picture where hopefully, the recession abates and growth moves forward again.

"Canal Winchester will continue to look to add new businesses and, we hope, some new manufacturing, to provide jobs to the community."

Ebert said the primary focus of development will be industrial employers.

"Our focus will be on the Canal Pointe industrial park off Diley Road," Ebert said. "Retail and restaurants will be secondary. If we can get 150 people in one building versus 10 in a retail establishment, that is more revenue for the city and less tax burden on the residents.

"We'll always think about residents needs for retail, but the main focus will be the industrial park."