Port Authority

The Athens County Port Authority was established by a resolution adopted by the Athens County Commissioners on November 20, 1995. The charge of the Athens County Port Authority is to lead Athens County into a new era of economic development.

Missions and Objectives of the Athens County Port Authority:

  • Encourage and facilitate economic development projects in Athens County
  • Develop facilities in a manner that will attract new business and industry of economic benefit to Athens County
  • Encourage development of residential, commercial, recreational, industrial, research and distribution facilities within the boundaries of the Authority
  • Acquire, sell or lease property and facilities for any use allowed by law
  • Construct and/or operate those facilities necessary to achieve and enhance the success of the four proceeding objectives.
  • Cooperate and coordinate efforts with agencies and organizations in the shipping, transportation and economic development of industry.
  • Continually monitor and assess potential sites and facilities and their feasibility for development.
  • Acquire and improve land, construct facilities and operate such facilities on a sound financial basis, while preserving the integrity of the land and its resources.
  • Secure the interest, support and participation of the residents of the Authority and the surrounding area in the activities and development of the Authority’s facilities.
  • Expand and develop the scope of the Authority’s facilities as required to keep pace with changing technological improvements.

A port authority is a quasi-public entity with the ability to:

  • Acquire property from private landowners, county, city or townships
  • Sell property on behalf of a county/city/township
  • Sell property at a below market value, given the sale is within the Port Authority’s development role
  • Lease property
  • Levy taxes in a voted levy not in excess of one million annually for a period of up to 5 years, unless the levy is for the payment of debt service on bonds, in which case the levy shall extend for the life of the bond issue.
  • Incur debt:
    1. May borrow in anticipation of a voted levy
    2. May issue voted securities not in excess of 2% of its assessed valuation
    3. Issue un-voted revenue bonds secured by a pledge and of a lien on the revenues generated by a property or project, and the revenue bonds need not comply with any other Ohio law applicable to issuing bonds or note
  • Loan money
  • Issue tax-exempt securities provided there is a governmental purpose for the securities
  • Appropriate/condemn property

As a quasi-public entity, a port authority has compliance requirements:

  • Competitive bidding
  • Prevailing wage
  • Public records law except that any financial or proprietary information including trade secrets, submitted by or on behalf of an entity to the Port Authority in connection with the relocation, location, expansion, improvement, or preservation of the business or entity held or kept by the Port Authority is confidential information and is not a public record. The records become public once the entity or business commits in writing to proceed with the relocation, location, expansion, or preservation of its business.
  • Open meeting, sunshine laws: except when the Board or any committee or subcommittee of such a board meets to consider information as outlined above. The Board, committee, or subcommittee, can vote by a majority of members present to close the meeting during consideration of confidential information.

The Athens County Port Authority

340 West State Street, Unit 26
Athens, OH 45701
Ph. (740) 597–1420 FAX (740) 597–1548

Chairperson – Jack Bortle
Vice Chairperson – Robert Gall

Treasurer – Robert Jackson
Secretary – Sara King Marrs


  • Alan Geiger
  • Ted Linscott
  • Joe McCollum
  • Robert Norris
  • Mark Snider
  • William Theisen
  • Robert Wilson

The Athens County Port is a member of the Ohio Port Authorities Council.