Violet Township trustees want to breathe life into its relatively dormant port authority in hopes of promoting economic growth in the township.

Port authorities are political subdivisions formed by local government entities under state law to facilitate economic activity and capital investment.

The trustees established the port authority in 2009 and had "meetings on a regular basis until 2013, and then it went on a hiatus," said Holly Mattei, the township's economic-development director.

She said the port authority's function during those years primarily was focused on fiber-optics implementation in Violet Township.

Mattei said when she was hired as the township's dedicated economic-development director in May, the trustees decided to bring the port authority back.

The authority's first meeting will be organizational and is scheduled for noon Tuesday, Aug. 8, in the township administrative office, 12970 Rustic Drive, Pickerington.

Trustees have appointed five members with backgrounds and interests in economic development.They will serve staggered four-year terms, Mattei said.

The five members of the revised authority are as follows:

* Rick Lemonds, South Central Power

* Steve Palsgrove, a retired banker

* Aimee Milligan, Diley Ridge Medical Center

* Ron Cullums, Ohio University-Pickerington Center

* Dr. Ray Bath, a physician

Mattei said the organizational meeting primarily would serve to identify goals and objectives.

"We want to come up with a strategic economic strategy, but in the long term, I think, the port authority can provide a number of economic-development tools," she said.

Those include owning land, leasing land to businesses, implementing bond projects, promoting and attracting business and creating and retaining jobs.

"Business attraction is probably the best one," Mattei said. "You can structure deals where the port authority can build its own building and then lease it to a company. They in turn receive tax benefits for doing that because the port authority is exempt from certain taxes."

Mattei said the meeting is open to the public.

"We haven't established regular meetings at this time," she said. "Later, we will establish the meeting dates and times and publish those."

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