Clark County to see benefit from Amazon project in Madison County

Amazon plans to build an 855,000 square-foot distribution center in Madison County set to open next year, but Clark County will receive some benefit from a contract to perform the building inspection.

Amazon Inc. announced last week it will build its sixth distribution center in Ohio in West Jefferson, a village on I-70 between Springfield and Columbus. For the past couple years, the village has contracted with Clark County to provide building inspection services, said Tom Hale, community development director for Clark County.

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“Clark County contracts with the village of West Jefferson to perform their building official responsibilities and their inspection duties,” Hale said. “That building falls under our jurisdiction so we’ll receive a portion of those permit fees.”

Clark County also has similar agreements with the city of London, Ohio and Madison County.

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Amazon has pledged to create a minimum of 1,500 new jobs in West Jefferson in order to receive a tax incentive package, said West Jefferson Mayor Ray Martin. But Martin said it's possible the site could create as many as 3,000 jobs. Employees will be responsible for packing and shipping electronics, books, housewares and other products sold by the retail giant.

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The building’s footprint will be more than 850,000 square feet, Hale said. The total size of the building will be closer to 2.2 million square feet. He said the project is expected to be complete by June next year.

Hale estimated the permit fees for the project will be in excess of $200,000. He said the company’s application estimated the total building cost at approximately $125 million.

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Amazon has more than 6,000 employees in Ohio.

Amazon already has Ohio fulfillment centers in Etna and Obetz. The company will launch additional fulfillment centers in North Randall and Monroe by the end of this year. A facility in Euclid is expected to open in 2019.

Martin estimated the village has contracted with Clark County for a little more than two years. Building inspections were previously provided by the state, he said.

“We come in quicker and a little under cost more so than what the state would be,” Martin said of the contract with Clark County.

Staff writer Will Garbe contributed to this story.

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