By AMY GAREIS News-Herald Staff Writer
CADIZ – The Jerry L. Stewart Mine Safety Training Center is staying put for another two years, this after its potential closure was targeted for Dec. 31.
The new year began on a high note as the five-year-old facility on Industrial Park Road managed to keep its doors open, but state officials remain in negotiations with the building’s operator.
The state and village Community Improvement Corp., which owns the building and leases it to Tappan Holdings LLC, had been negotiating the ODNR’s potential purchase of the facility for more than a year. The state subleased the site from Tappan Holdings and conducted an assessment that reportedly showed building code and safety violations, prompting the ODNR to consider closing the center at the end of 2013. Their intention was to move the training facility to a temporary location until a more permanent spot could be located.
But the idea sparked opposition on the local front, and many argued it has conducted hundreds of trainings since its inception, made a positive economic impact and belonged in the heart of coal country. For now, some fears are allayed until an official decision comes.
“The Ohio Department of Natural Resources continues to work with Tappan Holdings on an agreement that would allow ODNR to occupy the current office space and two training rooms in Cadiz,” stated ODNR spokesman Matt Eiselstein. “A temporary extension on occupancy has been agreed upon while these details are being discussed.”
Details on the extension can be found in this weeks print edition of the Harrison News-Herald.