LORAIN, OHIO (WJW) – There’s a new proposal gaining support in Washington D.C. for a potential multi-billion-dollar investment that would bring U.S. naval facilities to Lorain and Lordstown.
The government investment would bring as many as 3,000 high skilled and paying jobs to Lorain, according to Mayor Jack Bradley.
Bradley said he first learned of the proposal years ago from retired naval officer Ed Bartlett who operates Bartlett Maritime Corporation in Broadview Heights. According to Bradley, Bartlett pitched the facilities would make repairs on submarines.
“The reason Lordstown is attractive to us is because of the rail network there with CSX and Norfolk Southern,” Bartlett told FOX 8 sister station WKBN. “So, there’s national rail access and because of the interstate connections, the turnpike, 76 and 80.”
This week, Bradley said the proposal gained the support from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly known as the AFL-CIO, in addition to having the support of Senator Sherrod Brown and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.
Bradley said the AFL-CIO is pushing for the White House to help green light the plan.
“When you have the strongest unions in the United States telling a president of the United States who wants to build back better, I think that they’ll have the ear of our president,” said Bradley.
According to the mayor, the facility would be the fifth naval repair or ship building port in the U.S. and the first for the Navy on the Great Lakes.
“The city of Lorain was historically a ship building community, a steel producing community and a car producing community,” said Bradley. “We’ve lost just about all of that.”
Projected costs to build the facilities remains under review.
“At this point, this is going to be something financed by the Navy,” said the mayor. “Mr. Bartlett would build the facility and lease it back to the Navy. Mr Bartlett is working with Goldman Sachs and they’re working on the financing arrangement. There’s been no request for any financing or funding from the city of Lorain.”
If approved by the federal government, construction could take up to five years. Bradley said several locations in Lorain are under consideration.
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Proposed naval repair, ship building port for Lorain would be Navy’s first along Great Lakes