It’s turning out there’s a good reason why economic development leaders around Lima weren’t talking with each other about the Lima region’s bid to land an Amazon fulfillment center.
Lima was never one of the sites under consideration.
The site selected was the Toledo suburb of Rossford. Why that city’s mayor, Neil MacKinnon, claimed Rossford beat out Lima and Fort Wayne for the project has local officials steamed. They want to know where MacKinnon got the idea that Lima was invited to the table. Mayor Mac didn’t answer our phone calls. When we asked the Region Growth Partnership in Toledo about it, we were referred to an Amazon spokesperson, who didn’t feel like speaking. No one we talked with locally had any knowledge of Lima ever being part of the hunt.
So what kept Lima’s phone from ringing?
You can only speculate, but all eight of the fulfillment centers in Ohio are located in major metro areas: three in or near Columbus, two in Cleveland, and one each now in Toledo, Akron and Cincinnati. The common denominator is those areas have work forces large enough to fill Amazon’s demands as well as its transportation needs.
Toledo was joined by Akron in landing the latest fulfillment centers. The state signed off Monday on tax incentives worth up to $12.1 million for both distribution centers, of which Rossford stands to collect $5 million, according to the Ohio Tax Credit Authority.
The incentives are based on how many workers Amazon hires. The Rossford facility will hire 1,000 workers, beginning at a wage of $15 an hour. The work isn’t brain surgery. Associates will pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and toys.
The Rossford facility is being built at the intersection of I-75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The one in Akron will be built at the site of a former shopping mall.
Amazon currently employs around 8,500 in Ohio.
Elsewhere in the news last week:
… A 79-year-old Cleveland woman is getting a new hearing after being sentenced to 10 days in jail for ignoring a law making it illegal for people to feed dogs and cats that aren’t their own. She said she lost her husband and her own cats in 2017 and she began feeding the stray animals because she’s lonely.
… Just when car enthusiasts thought Ohio was finally getting rid of the ugly and expensive front license plates next year, along comes two Republican state senators want to throw the legislation in reverse. They say the front plate is a valuable tool in solving and preventing crimes.
… Don’t let anyone tell you cities need traffic cameras to promote safety. It’s about money. Case in point is Dayton. It’s trying to get the law blocked by a Montgomery County judge. The law requires cities to report revenues from fines collected through traffic camera use, with Ohio then reducing payments to local governments by the same amount.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.