Port authority hosts legislative luncheon

| May 7, 2018


COSHOCTON – Kirby Hasseman was excited to start the May 4 Coshocton Port Authority Legislative Luncheon off with an overview of what attendees could expect.

“There is a lot of movement going on in our community and you are going to get the 10,000 foot view of a lot of those things that are happening,” said Hasseman, who emceed the event for Port Authority Executive Director Tiffany Swigert.

One of those exciting things involves the Coshocton campus of NewPointe Community Church, whose pastor Chad Olinger gave the invocation at the start of the luncheon.

“They are going to break ground later this year for a brand new building,” Hasseman said. “Just imagine the exciting things going on there.”

Swigert then stepped up to the microphone and shared how excited she was to be serving as the port authority executive director.


“I’m honored to stand here,” she said. “When I started in July I knew this position would come with challenges. Some have been exciting and some stressful, but I never gave up on the people in this room because you are our biggest assets.”

Swigert feels developing personal relationships is very important to the success of our community and she dove right into working on that goal.

“In August 2017 Amy Stockdale, director of the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce and Sherri Gibson, from Ohio Means Jobs and I started meeting with businesses,” Swigert said. “So far we have gone to 58 local businesses to listen and learn.”

Those meeting led the three to work with Vicki Maple, COTC vice president for workforce development, community affairs and extended campuses, to apply for grant money to help businesses bridge gaps to find qualified individuals to hire. The program will be called Advancing Coshocton through Technical Training.

Swigert then thanked Our Town Coshocton for its efforts to revitalized Main Street and shared that ITM will be moving to the former Civic Hall and the Hassemans are renovating a building in the 400 block that includes apartments and store fronts.


A video created by Hasseman Marketing showcasing why Coshocton is a great place to live and work was then shown.

“About a year ago BuzzFeed came in here and was very kind, but then when their story came out they pictured someone in jail,” said Coshocton City Mayor Steve Mercer. “We decided we needed to tell our own story. This is a very creative area and we want to showcase that to businesses.”

Dane Shryock then spoke on behalf of the Coshocton County Board of Commissioners. He shared that the county did lose funding from the state, but they are still optimistic about the future and looking at their glass as half full. He did, however, ask legislators in attendance about working on ways to find funding for correctional facilities.

“Ours is busting at the seams,” Shryock said.

Stephanie Conn, administrator and chief nursing officer at Coshocton Regional Medical Hospital, addressed the need for reform with Medicare and Medicaid Managed Care plans.


“We are held to high standards, but who is holding these companies accountable?” she said.

The way the system is designed right now patients are at risk for being denied non-emergency care. Healthcare providers also have been denied millions in appropriate payments based on unjustified denials by managed care companies.

Dalton Summers, superintendent for River View Local Schools, spoke on behalf of all three county school districts on the issue of school safety.

“I think our schools are as safe if not more so than they were 20 years ago, but I’m not sure that is good enough with the threats we deal with in today’s world,” he said. “We are dealing with things that we never thought about 30 years ago.”

Beth Cormack, director of Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices spoke about the drug epidemic facing our community and the state and the need to put more dollars toward prevention programs.


“Prevention efforts cost a $1 compared to $7 for treatment,” she said.

On hand to share thoughts and comments about the community’s concerns were State Representative Larry Householder, Sate Senator Jay Hottinger and Congressman Bob Gibbs. Several elected officials also had representatives present at the luncheon.


Category: Government

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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