Business is good, getting better in Carroll County

BIC-SLIDER-WEB

TheNewsOutlet.org

The oil and gas industry is bringing economic benefits to the oil-and-gas-rich areas in Ohio. Chris Davdison tells us how the industry is affecting businesses in one boom-town, Carrollton.

Mobile Readers – Download “Business is good, getting better in Carroll County” as an MP3

Amy Rutledge, the director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors and Convention Center, said fracking isn’t just good for the oil and gas industry. It also benefits restaurants, retail stores and gas stations. (Mary Sweetwood/TheNewsOutlet.org)

Amy Rutledge, the director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors and Convention Center, said fracking isn’t just good for the oil and gas industry. It also benefits restaurants, retail stores and gas stations. (Mary Sweetwood/TheNewsOutlet.org)

(Sound of traffic)

The roads in Carrol County handle twice as much traffic this year than last.  Green pipelines parallel and cut across some of the country roads leading to and from the county seat, Carrollton. Pipeline workers, construction crews, street cleaners and truckers travel the same rural routes as farmers, families and businessman.

They’re spending their dollars in our restaurants, they’re spending their dollars in our downtown stores, spending their dollars here to buy gas, because they’re going through Carrollton to get to the different work sites.

That’s Carrollton Mayor Frank Leghart.

With those people coming, working their oil jobs, spending their money in town, creates the avenue for business to expand in town.

Chamber of Commerce Director Amy Rutledge says the gas and oil industry affects not only restaurants, stores and gas stations, but all types of commerce.

Our Days Inn has been running better than 90 percent occupancy for more than a year and a half.

The Days Inn has an addition in the works and is currently the only hotel in Carrollton, but soon it will face competition. Mayor Leghart again.

It’s a 79-room Microtel. When that opens up, that’s going to be more jobs during construction, plus jobs to run and maintain the hotel once it opens.

Also, Atwood Lake Resort … just a few minutes drive from Carrollton… shuttered since 2010,  reopened last October.

That’s huge in and of itself. We’re going to go from basically having – before October of last year – one hotel to by October of this year probably having three hotels.

It’s not just hotels and hospitality, oil and gas workers need special apparel, so that translates into more jobs.

There is another uniform company that is working in the village. And predominatnly their business is selling fireproof uniforms for the guys that work on the wells.

With all the changes,  Leghart says the village needs to plan for the long term.

Gas and oil drillers aren’t going to be here forever. So we need to maintain the integrity of the village now and start taking steps now to see that we maintain these businesses or we retain these businesses that have opened.

Initial reports predicted the gas and oil boom to last five to 10 years, now some residents say it may extend from 15 to 20 years.

This is one in a series of stories The News Outlet will bring you about the oil and gas industry expansion in Ohio. Shee-Wai Wong contributed to this report. For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Chris Davidson.