Cindy Leis accepts a check from a LEAP Grant from American Electric Power Ohio Community Affairs Manager Randy Payne which will replace signage at two Van Wert industrial parks. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
Cindy Leis accepts a check from a LEAP Grant from American Electric Power Ohio Community Affairs Manager Randy Payne which will replace signage at two Van Wert industrial parks. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)

BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
egebert@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - Van Wert County's Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) has received a $10,000 grant from AEP Ohio to use to market not only the 1,600-acre Van Wert Super Site as a potential home for an industrial developer, but also for the two industrial parks on either end of Van Wert.

Van Wert County Economic Development Director Cindy Leis pointed out that the CIC received a Local Economic Advancement Program (LEAP) grant from AEP Ohio from 2012 that went to put up a billboard on U.S. 30 advertising the Super Site. That billboard will remain in place until next July. After that time, Lamar Advertising has offered to rotate the Super Site ad as a public service on available space until the site has been sold.

With the current grant, Leis said the existing sign for Vision Industrial Park will be upgraded, but the existing base will be used for a new sign. Also, the grant money will go to erect a new sign at the industrial park on Van Wert's south side, along Industrial Dr.

"We very much appreciate the support of AEP Ohio for this project," said CIC President Jon Rhoades. Leis stated that she is looking forward being proud of the image of the industrial parks given by the community and how that image will help attract new business.

Tuesday morning AEP Community Affairs Manager Randy Payne presented the check for the LEAP grant to Leis.

According to AEP Ohio, that company's LEAP grants go to support projects that promote the retention and attraction of manufacturing jobs and investment. The grants have been offered to local economic development organizations since 2005.

Since that time, 186 grants totaling nearly $560,000have been awarded to support projects throughout the AEP Ohio service territory.

"We are pleased to be able to provide financial support to help facilitate economic development project that help to bring jobs and prosperity to local communities," said Pablo Vegas, AEP Ohio President and Chief Operating Officer.