This file photo shows the billboard along U.S. 30 advertising the location of the Van Wert Super Site. According to Van Wert Area Economic Development Director Cindy Leis, the Super Site is very near achieving Job Ready Site Certification. (dhi MEDIA File Photo)
This file photo shows the billboard along U.S. 30 advertising the location of the Van Wert Super Site. According to Van Wert Area Economic Development Director Cindy Leis, the Super Site is very near achieving Job Ready Site Certification. (dhi MEDIA File Photo)

VAN WERT — The 1,600-acre Van Wert Super Site on Van Wert’s northeast side is near achieving Job Ready Site Certification — a status that should boost the attractiveness of the area for major manufacturers.

“Earlier this week we held a review meeting with our certification body, Austin Consulting, the Ohio Development Services Agency, and AEP Ohio about the certification process, which is a requirement of our $5 million grant,” stated Van Wert Area Economic Development Director Cindy Leis.

According to Leis, the next step is up to for AEP to make a decision about the electrical capabilities of the site.

“Right now a decision is being made by AEP as to whether that site will be 69 KV capable, but 345 KV capable,” Leis shared. “It may be a similar commitment like Dominion Gas gave to not put the infrastructure in now, but acquire easements and get everything ready if the higher capacity is needed.”



Dominion has opted not to install a gas line to the site already, instead waiting to see if an end user will need gas service, and how much.
Leis talked about the options.

“The 69 KV is required for JRS certification, but it opens up the market for us if we have 345 KV capability with that site. Truly that will attract the larger companies, which is the intention of the mega site. It would now have the power that is needed. And this site would be one of only ten such sites in the U.S. with that type of capability.”

Even once that decision is made, there is still a little work to be completed.

“Once the decision is made on the utilities portion by AEP Ohio, we still have title searches to be completed,” Leis offered. “We need to finalize some aerial maps showing the site with the rail, water, wastewater, water plant, utilities, planned gas line, reservoirs, the airport, the water towers. We are still planning on certification this year, we’d like to think September. Then that would complete the grant.

Leis is also applying for a grant to develop a website exclusively for the super site.

“Most communities with big sites like we have, they have their own website,” she noted.