By Wayne Allen
The Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) and the United States Department of Energy (DOE) has had an agreement in place for a number of years designating SIOD the Community Reuse Organization for the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The two organizations have had an agreement since 1995, that agreement has expired and the two are working towards another.
According to www.sodidevelopment.com, “SODI was designated by DOE to be the Community Reuse Organization (CRO) for the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant since 1995. After a two-year planning period. SODI was incorporated in 1997 as a non-profit community improvement corporation. SODI has served Jackson, Pike, Ross and Scioto Counties to (for) nearly two decades with a clear economic development mission that includes developing the underutilized land and facilities at the DOE Piketon Site.
Since 1998, SODI has invested $14 million DOE 3161 funds in Pike, Scioto, Ross and Jackson Counties to create industrial parks, workforce training programs and an entrepreneur loan fund.
SODI is chartered to catalyze economic development and improve the quality of life in the four-county region, and will continue to pursue projects that bring highly skilled jobs to southern Ohio. The Southern Ohio region has been an integral part of the nuclear fuel cycle for over half a century and will continue to contribute to the world’s energy needs.”
Dennis Carr, Fluor-B&W Site Project Director said, “we are in the process of transferring the final transformers to SODI. They are mitigating the asbestos in the transformers and pulling out the copper and steel for recycling. We are in the mist of transferring those and are in the midst of 200 transformers coming down.”
Carr acknowledged that DOE and SODI are in discussions for a new agreement.
“That agreement has expired and has to be renewed. They are in the process of what looks like an extension of the previous agreement,” Carr said. “We are moving forward setting materials aside for recycle working with SODI. Once that agreement is resigned we’ll start moving material again.”
Carr said he expects an agreement to be reached any day, but until then they will not move materials for SODI use.
“As of right now we’ve put in some suggestions (towards a new agreement) and we are waiting on some input from the department (DOE),” said Steve Shepherd, Executive Director of SODI.
Shepherd said he hopes the new agreement will remain the same or grow the number of items that can be given to them to be recycled.
According to www.sodidevelopment.com, SODI gave $150k to the James A. Rhodes Airport in 2013 to construct a new 2,000 square foot terminal.
Other grants given by SODI include $150k to Pike County for a sewer extension project and $150k given to the Southern Ohio Port Authority for industrial park improvements.
The Scioto County representatives on the SODI Board include Jason Kester, Jim Warren and Stan Craft.
For more information about SODI visit, www.sodidevelopment.com.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT