LIMA — The commissioners shuffled the Allen County Port Authority board Thursday to maximize its use and bring more of a business focus to the group.
Commissioners accepted some resignations, reappointed some members and appointed new members Thursday. Other previous changes include hiring an executive director and reducing the number of seats from nine to seven.
The new appointments are Marcelyn Boone from Ineos, R. Barry Hardy from Hardy Financial Group, Don Klausing from Kettle Creations and Maria Sanko from Real Living/CCR Realtors.
The re-appointments are Phil Buell from Superior Federal Credit Union, Scott Koenig from KeyBridge Medical Revenue Management and Dr. Herbert A. Schumm from St. Rita’s Medical Center.
Those resigning include Bob Armstrong, Paul Brown, Claude Cliborne, Becky Saine and Jeff Sprague.
The commissioners created the Allen County Port Authority in 1982. Port authorities now have broad legal definitions and are used more often as economic development bodies rather than strict managers of water ports and airports. Port authorities can own land and assets and finance projects. The Allen County Port Authority owns industrial park land and a railroad, and it finances projects using a revolving loan fund through the county.
The Port Authority will hold its first meeting with the new board at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the conference room of the Allen Economic Development Group.
Commissioner Cory Noonan said the commissioners still view AEDG as the lead economic development group in the county.
“The Port Authority will enhance those efforts, and we view the board’s role as critical in that support,” Noonan said.
Allen County Port Authority also hired an executive director, Jerry Arkebauer, on a five-year contract. Arkebauer will not be an employee of the authority but be retained as a consultant. Arkebauer, known as an expert on port authorities in Ohio, began his relationship with Allen County consulting on how to improve the authority.
“Resources provided by the Port Authority in partnership with other state and local incentives help local businesses expand and create jobs for our local economy,” Commissioner Jay Begg said.