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  Public Information Release
This is another news release from the Port Authority.


July 13, 2005


HEATH, OHIO – The Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority announced that it has reached an agreement with The Boeing Company which will extend Boeing’s current lease with the Port Authority for office and manufacturing space at the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center in Heath through 2010. Boeing exercised a renewal clause in the lease that was slated to expire at the end of September 30, 2005. The most significant aspects of the lease are that it guarantees steady costs to Boeing and a projected $15 million in total revenue to the Port Authority.

Boeing’s presence at Heath dates back to 1996 when it joined in the nationally-recognized privatization-in-place of the former Newark Air Force Base.

Newark Air Force Base was on the BRAC 1993 base closure list and threatened to close. A vast majority of the jobs were saved when the Base was privatized in 1996 and the work done in the prior 34 years by an Air Force civilian workforce was taken over by private contractors. The facility, renamed Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center, is owned by the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority and is now part of an overall 350-acre business campus with 22 different employers and a $200 million annual economic impact. The COATC was ranked as the 18th largest industrial park in Central Ohio by Columbus Business First.

The lease renewal was encouraging news for both Boeing and the Port Authority.

“The Boeing Company is extremely fortunate to have the Port Authority as a landlord,” said Boeing Center Director Bob Weideman. “Together, we have forged a partnership that enables both of us to achieve our objectives. For us, it is the long-term growth of our repair and manufacturing workloads. This lease helps us remain competitive as we aggressively pursue that goal over the next several years.”

The Boeing Company is among the largest employers in Licking County and, according to a report by Columbus Business First, is the 87th largest employer in Central Ohio.

News of the renewal comes on the heels of a March 2005 announcement by Boeing of a $4.2 million expansion project that promises 35 new jobs. The expansion project is currently underway.

“The Port Authority is particularly proud of its ability to go forward with the Boeing lease renewal with no increase in base costs,” said Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority Director Rick Platt. “We couldn’t do that without continued, successful efforts to control costs and diversify our revenue sources. This renewal and the Boeing expansion give the Port Authority and Licking County what it has craved since day one—stability.”

The Port Authority celebrates 10 years since its creation by the cities of Heath and Newark and the Licking County Commissioners in 1995. The Port Authority has grown to the fourth largest in Ohio and, since it receives no taxpayer money, is the largest self-sustaining port authority in Ohio.

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