Wellsville designated as opportunity zone

LEETONIA — Wellsville has been designated an opportunity zone by the federal government, which members of the Columbiana County Port Authority hope will help market the village for future business expansion.

Board member Tad Herold said the port authority submitted six areas in Columbiana County for possible inclusion in the opportunity zone program. Additionally, East Liverpool and Salem submitted themselves. The only one selected for designation was the entire village of Wellsville.

Executive Director Penny Traina said the area does not include Yellow Creek or Madison townships, where there are projects planned or under way.

The opportunity zones are areas where private investors will be eligible for tax benefits when they reinvest unrealized capital gains into these areas through pooled opportunity funds. An unrealized capital gain is one which has not been cashed in yet, such as a stock gaining investment value shown on a statement, but before the stock is sold.

Traina pointed out that since the opportunity zone program is new, the exact rules and regulations surrounding the investments have not been released, but they expect to see something possibly by the end of October.

The Wellsville opportunity zone includes the Intermodel Facility and goes throughout the village to the limits at state Route 45. Wellsville includes the transportation benefits of a highway running along town, the railroad and the Ohio River.