UPDATE: 9/16/2015 5:53 PM.
We told you back in May about the closure of the AEP Muskingum River Plant in Beverly. Now we're learning more details about the future of that property.
Washington County officials confirm that the 1,100 acre site has been purchased by Commercial Liability Partners LLC., out of Missouri.
The company is known for redeveloping re mediated properties and building industrial complexes in its place.
UPDATE: 6/1/2015 7:05 PM
The Fort Frye and Wolf Creek Local School Districts both face potential repercussions as a result of AEP Muskingum River closing it's doors. Much of that is in tax revenue loss. Superintendent Bob Caldwell of the Wolf Creek Local District explains what his students, teachers, and parents will be facing moving forward:
"We estimate that it will amount to about one point two million dollars of local revenue loss. And, so, that would be for school year, or fiscal year F-Y 17. So, we'll receive taxes for 16 half a year. And, it's not a surprise. They projected this to occur several years ago." says Caldwell.
The Wolf Creek Local School District operates on about seven and a half million dollars per year. Caldwell says that an abundance of caution and planning ahead of time has allowed his district to continue to function smoothly. The Fort Frye District will see a loss of one point four million dollars as a result of the closing. But, due to a previously scheduled tax abatement, will make up most or all of that money.
UPDATE: 5/29/2015 7:15 PM
We've reported about the closure of the AEP Muskingum River Plant before. But that time, is now officially here.
The factory in the Beverly/Waterford area is set to sound it's final closing bell this Sunday; leaving 70 permanent workers and many more temporary contractors without work.
Jim Ullman is a Beverly city councilman and has worked at the Muskingum River Plant for 36 years. Now, he's into an early retirement.
"Ever since I hired in there, it's always been a rumor that the units were going to shut down. And, after a while, you just let it go in one ear and out the other. I didn't think it'd ever really happen." said Ullman.
The plant is closing due to increased EPA regulations making it no longer economically viable. The plant had reduced staff in recent years, and previously employed over 150 full-time workers.
"My initial thought it what it's going to do to this area. AEP, the Ohio Power Muskingum Plant has been a big contributor of jobs throughout the community. Not only the people that work directly for the plant, but the contractors."
WTAP caught up with the Mayor of Beverly today, who talked about the economic impact that this closing could have on the village.
"There's going to be people that are going to be moving out of the area to go to other places to find jobs. And, of course, that all trickles down to other businesses in the community. Not only just the dollar they get for their paycheck, but it's the dollar they spend at the grocery store, and the grocery store spends it at the restaurant." said Mayor Rex Kenyon.
Mayor Kenyon says that the recent addition of a tank plant in Waterford and a growing oil industry should help offset some of the economic loss in the area.
"We've got several businesses in the area that have come to town, so their picking up some of the slack, but their not picking it all up."
The mayor also discussed how great an economic partner that AEP has been for the village, often contributing to local non-profit organizations, and even helping fund recent additions for the Beverly Fire Department.
UPDATE: 5:44 PM 4/2/2015
The Muskingum River Plant will no longer be in business come summer time. AEP annouced in 2011 the closing of unit 5 in Washington County.
The 6,600 megawatt coal-fueled coal firing plant is scheduled to close on May 31, 2015.
Currently, 80 workers are still employed at the plant. AEP says they tried to place as many impacted employees as possible in positions at their company. As of right now, 18 workers will have a job at the company once the plant closes and 62 workers either voluntarily or involuntarily will be offered a severance package.
Closing down this plant isn't just affecting the workers, though.
"We recognize that the retirement will effect the local economy and that there's a tax impact there. we've been working to provide enough information as we can in a timely manner to help the local community and business organizations prepare for the changes that are upon us," says AEP Spokesperson, Tammy Ridout.
AEP reps say the removal of the plant will be done in a safe and responsible way. They are working with community leaders and local developmental commissions to figure out if all or part of the site can be redeveloped.
AEP announces the closing of Muskingum River Plant Unit 5 in Washington County.
American Electric Power announces today it will retire its 585-megawatt coal-fueled Muskingum River Plant Unit 5 Coal Firing Plant, in Beverly, Ohio in 2015.
Due to the cost of compliance with environmental regulations and current market conditions, AEP determined it's unlikely to make the capital investment to refuel the unit.
Muskingum River Plant Units 1 through 4 have already been scheduled to close by 2015.
Approximately 95 employees working at Units 1-5.
Washington County Commissioner David White says this is a very sad day for Washington County. He says with the loss of AEP in the area the effect on property taxes, surrounding school and jobs is great.
White says this is the last standing coal firing plant in Washington County.
PRESS RELEASE: Representative Bill Johnson
MARIETTA– Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-6) released the following statement today regarding the news that AEP will retire its 585-megawatt (MW) coal-fueled Muskingum River Plant Unit 5 in Beverly, Ohio (Washington County), in 2015:
"AEP being forced to close its Beverly facility because of the ‘cost of compliance with environmental regulations' is the latest example of how President Obama’s War on Coal is costing jobs in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio," said Bill Johnson. "The tragic results of his assault on coal, the Ohioans that mine it, the Ohioans who work at plants to turn it into the electricity that we all use, and the Ohio families and businesses dependent on the reliable, affordable energy provided by the coal industry are on display up and down the Ohio River. I will continue to lead the effort in the House of Representatives to fight this Administration, the EPA, and their allies in Congress to stop this ‘War on Coal’.”
In 2012, Johnson authored H.R. 3409, the ‘Stop the War on Coal Act.’ This legislation passed the House with bipartisan support, on a vote of 233-175, but the Senate refused to consider the legislation. The ‘Stop the War on Coal Act’ is common sense legislation that would have prevented thousands of coal jobs losses due to destructive regulations.
Johnson added, "Protecting America’s coal industry, and the jobs that go with it, is part of a true ‘all of the above’ approach to energy production that creates jobs, lowers energy prices, and takes America one step closer to energy independence. Coal is critical to powering Ohio and America. I will always fight on behalf of the hardworking Americans who work in the coal industry, and the businesses that depend upon the reliable, cost effective energy that coal provides."