The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving the submittal of an application to Ohio’s Department of Development (ODOD) for a $5 million Job Ready Site grant to cover costs associated with modifications required at NASA Glenn’s Plum Brook Space Power Facility located in Perkins Township in Erie County.

NASA Glenn has been assigned responsibility for environmental testing of the planned Orion space vehicle that will transport astronauts to the international space station and ultimately to the moon and beyond. Plum Brook is unique in that it will allow the space vehicle to undergo the full suite of environment testing in a single building, the Space Power Facility. An estimated $40-$50 million in capital improvements are needed to upgrade the Space Power Facility for the project. Once completed, this project will create 82 new full-time jobs at Plum Brook and retain an additional 115 jobs. The ODOD provided a preliminary commitment for the $5 million grant. The Port Authority’s formal application is expected to be considered by the State’s Controlling Board next month.

The Job Ready Sites program is a competitive funding program designed to stimulate the development of large parcels of land and/ or buildings that will be marketed to attract state economy-shifting development projects.

In other business, the board approved the following measures:

  • A resolution authorizing a cooperative agreement with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, City of Cleveland and Flats East Development LLC to upgrade the storm and sanitary sewer systems serving the Flats East Bank. Funding for this work will be provided by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.
  • An amendment to the Port Authority’s Rules and Regulations that will streamline its procurement process, in accordance with Ohio Revised Code, requiring all contracts in excess of $25,000 be put to public bid. 
  • A contract with Acendex to upgrade the Port Authority’s information technology system at a cost not to exceed $90,000.

A contract for $55,740 with Chagrin Valley Paving, Inc. for asphalt paving services at the Port of Cleveland.

Additionally, the Ruffing Montessori School, a port-financed project in Cleveland Heights, will celebrate its grand opening on Sunday, April 22. The Port Authority financed $3.375 million of the $3.5 million project, allowing for the renovation and 9,000-square-foot expansion of classrooms and administrative offices. The expansion allowed the school to grow from 280 students to more than 300 students ages three through 14.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority helps the regional economy grow and keeps local industries connected to the world by supporting thousands of jobs and providing area businesses a competitive advantage through maritime and development finance partnerships.