Member Spotlight Archive

Pioneer, Ohio

A good neighbor community. Come grow with us.
Published August 2014

Close-knit community
The Village of Pioneer was founded in 1849 by P.W. Norris. Early business in the northwest Ohio village was spurred by the rivalry between Norris and G.R. Joy, who were married to sisters. Each actively sought to make his part of town more prosperous. Norris was named postmaster in 1850, but could not name the town after himself, so he named it Pioneer.

The Toledo and Western Railway came to Pioneer in 1903, which brought many new businesses to the village, including a wool market, pickle vats, stockyards, and flour, grist and hoop mills. The railway stopped service during the Depression until it was revived by local store owner Earl Snyder. His role as owner/operator of the railway got him featured in Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” column and museum as well as a television spot. The railroad continued until 1954 when Snyder moved into the trucking business.

Today the Village of Pioneer has a population of approximately 1,380 and some of the main employers are in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

The Williams County Economic Development Corporation helps maintain a high quality of life in Williams County. It attracts and retains businesses as the premier reference and resource center for all businesses throughout the county. Pioneer is one of 10 communities located in Williams County and has three parks, five baseball diamonds, a library, one lake within the village and several lakes within 10 miles. Pioneer’s organizations include Ohio Child Conservation League, North Central Athletic Boosters, Pioneer Lions Club, Pioneer Chamber of Commerce and Sesqui Study Club.

Diverse and efficient portfolio
Established in 1912, the Pioneer Light Department serves more than 800 meters, with the majority being residential customers. The Light Department received a 2013 AMP Safety Award for transmission/distribution, and the Village of Pioneer received an AMP System Improvement Award in 2013 for its pole replacement project. The project enabled the village to provide better grounding and coordination in wire and transformer sizing for the available load. Overall efficiency was improved and customers are seeing cost savings from the system upgrades.

As a member of AMP, Pioneer participates in a number of AMP programs and projects that assist in providing reliable energy and other benefits to the community and its citizen-owners. These include:

  • AMP Combustion Turbine, six gas turbine distributed generation units located at three sites around Ohio that supply peaking power
  • AMP Fremont Energy Center, a natural gas combined cycle facility that provides energy and capacity
  • Blue Creek Wind Farm, a wind farm in northwest Ohio that helps diversify AMP’s pool of resources providing power to members
  • Business/Economic Development, AMP assistance designed to augment local economic development efforts
  • Landfill Gas Energy, a mixture of gases produced by decomposing garbage and collected by a series of pipes for use in diesel generator units (landfill gas-to-energy sites directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Municipal Energy Services Agency (MESA), which provides member communities a source of technical assistance including planning, design and engineering, field services and training assistance
  • Mutual Aid, a network of municipal electric systems that assist each other when utility emergencies occur that are too widespread to be handled by one system alone
  • New York Power Authority (NYPA), providing hydroelectricity generated by the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers
  • Northwest AMP Service Group (NWASG)
  • OMEGA JV2, a joint venture that owns three gas turbine distributed generation units and 35 diesel units with a total capacity of 138.65 MW at sites across Ohio
  • OMEGA JV4, a joint venture that operates the 69-kV R. Bruce Kidston Transmission Line in Williams County
  • OMEGA JV5, a joint venture that operates a 42-MW hydroelectric plant on the Ohio River and has back-up generation sources located throughout Ohio
  • OMEGA JV6, a joint venture that operates a four-turbine wind farm near Bowling Green, Ohio, that generates 7.2 MW of power
  • Phase 1 Hydro, which includes the run-of-the-river generating facilities currently under construction at the Cannelton, Smithland and Willow Island dams on the Ohio River
  • The Prairie State Energy Campus (southern Illinois), a 1,600-MW state-of-the-art supercritical mine-mouth plant and adjacent coal mine

For more information, please visit