Mansfield City Council receives positive economic development update
Business is strong in Mansfield.
Tim Bowersock, the town’s director of economic development, gave an update at Mansfield Town Council’s meeting on Tuesday.
He said his office received 20 new leads in the first quarter of the year.
“We get a lead or two a week through JobsOhio,” Bowersock said. “We were very busy earlier in the year.”
According to Site Selection Magazine, Richland County ranked seventh nationally in 2021 for major economic development projects for areas with populations under 200,000.
Bowersock estimated that Mansfield was responsible for 70–80% of these projects.
“Small businesses are where our job growth is happening,” he told the council.
Bowersock said his office was watching a number of projects, including some he wasn’t ready to talk about yet.
“It’s the secret world of economic development,” he said.
The director of economic development spoke to the board of Edge Plastics, which in March last year offered to add 43 jobs over 24 months.
So far, the company has created 106 new full-time jobs.
Additionally, Moritz International has expanded to a facility on Illinois Avenue.
“Their business is growing like crazy,” Bowersock said.
Business owners looking for properties
He said company officials were looking at a few other buildings. Bowersock said finding buildings is one of the biggest challenges in economic development.
He also said apartment complex developers seemed more interested in focusing on older people rather than low-to-moderate income people.
In related economic development news, the council voted to enter into a lease with the Mansfield Sky Club for a new restaurant. It will be housed at Mansfield Lahm Airport in the old metro building.
After hearing from City Engineer Bob Bianchi, the council reached an agreement for aggregation of electrical services with Dynegy Energy Services, which had the lowest bid. Bianchi said most residents would see a savings of $120 over 2½ years.
They will receive a notice by mail.
“The public can choose which company they want to buy electricity from,” Bianchi said. “The more customers, the lower the price.
“If they do nothing, they are automatically registered.”
He warned people to beware of people going door to door with offers.
The council selects a company to store the records
The Council also agreed to use Vital Records Control, based in Brooklyn Heights, without a tender, for the storage of archived documents.
Councilor Stephanie Zader had previously expressed concern that a local business would not be used.
Mayor Tim Theaker said the city did its due diligence.
“I interviewed the individual to see what his abilities were,” he said. “He has good ideas, but at the moment he doesn’t have the qualifications we are looking for and he is slightly overpriced.”
Zader seemed satisfied with the explanation.
“It was just to give them the chance and sit with them, that’s all I was asking for,” she said.
Dan Smith, the city’s clerk of the courts, was on hand to support Vital Records Control.
“It’s a reasonable contract,” he said. “Everything they said they could do, they can do.”
Smith said his office had 3,500 files.