LORDSTOWN VILLAGE, Ohio (WKBN) – Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill first told 27 First News about a plan to bring a navy ship maintenance plant to the village on Thursday. He said he’s 90% confident it will happen.

Hill explained how two years ago Captain Ed Bartlett, of the Cleveland-based Bartlett Maritime Corporation, called and introduced him to what has become known as The Lordstown-Lorain Project.

“So I went and rode him all around town, showed him the available sites. It was right after GM shut down,” said Hill.

Hill said in his two years of dealing with Ed Bartlett, he would go months without ever hearing from him. Then Bartlett would call and a few more months would go by. Hill said it was three or four months ago that he finally realized The Lordstown-Lorain Project was viable.

Barlett’s plan is to help maintain the Navy’s submarine fleet, by building a new maintenance plant in Lordstown creating 500 to 1,000 jobs. In Lorain, two drydocks would support the submarines creating another 2,000 to 3,000 jobs. Bartlett was impressed with Lordstown.

“He said this would be perfect. You got rail, you got road, you got available land,” said Hill.

At a meeting in Washington on Thursday, Bartlett received a commitment from the AFL-CIO to be part of the project.

“The mayor of Lorain spoke and then I spoke in favor of the project,” said Hill.

Hill said he answers two to three calls a week, from companies interested in locating in Lordstown. About a mile from his office is a prime example of Lordstown’s development, where the outside of the Ultium Cells plant has taken shape.

Hill said he still has 300 to 500 acres available for development.

“We’ve got water, gas, electric, we’ve got sewers everywhere. We do have tax incentive programs in there. I mean we have all that,” said Hill.

Hill is confident that Ed Bartlett will also get The Lordstown-Lorain Project.

“They already have penciled in groundbreaking for October. Now you know that tells me he’s somewhat positive,” said Hill.