Jackson County site

Fluor-BWXT’s Bob Smith, second from right, and Tim Poe, far right, join other officials in the official groundbreaking ceremony held in Jackson County.

JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio — Bob Smith, site project director for Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC (FBP), and Tim Poe, nuclear operations director and chairman of FBP’s Steering Group, recently joined delegates from the Ohio Governor’s office, Jackson County and other agencies to break ground at the Meridian Automotive Remediation and Redevelopment Project, located on property at the intersection of Ohio Routes 32 and 35.

The property has set empty for more than a decade, contaminated with hydraulic oils and other chemicals, making it impossible to sell or reuse without environmental cleanup. The state of Ohio promised a $1.8 million grant to assist in the cleanup if Jackson County could come up with a percentage of matching funds. A $142,500 donation from the Fluor-BWXT Steering Group to the Jackson County Economic Development Partnership (JCEDP) helped secure the grant and enables development leaders to move forward in efforts to make the site productive once again.

As overseer of the FBP Community Commitment Plan, the Steering Group’s mission is to contribute to the economic stabilization and growth of the counties most impacted by site operations — Pike, Scioto, Ross, and Jackson counties.

“It’s a big deal not only for Jackson but for the entire area,” said Poe. “This is a project that could bring hundreds of jobs to the area. From FBP’s perspective, projects like this definitely help the communities and are what we want to be involved in.”

FBP Steering Committee members previously presented a ceremonial check to the Jackson County Economic Development Partnership (JCEDP) in November 2018 during a community appreciation reception.

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