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Date: 04-05-2018

WHY NOT LAWRENCE COUNTY?

 

Since it is election time in Kentucky I think it proper to ask prospective candidates for County and District offices for a public statement on how they would be better at attracting a small industry to our well-placed county.

Judge/Executive candidates of all parties as well as magistrates on both sides of the ticket are asked to submit an answer and send a billfold sized photo to go with it. No charge. IF You can't do it with an email, Get a friend or relative to help.

Send to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Here are some examples of new jobs coming to Ky. counties. Why not Lawrence County?

Plus to add more misery part of the Ky. Power money paid to replace the damage of leaving the coal business and the plant which used millions of tons of mostly locally mined coal, has not been spent in Lawrence County although it suffered the biggest negative economic hit. 

Perhaps the current fiscal court has a plan to attract a plant supplying products to the new Braidy Industries project which is supposed to bring 1,100 new well paying jobs to the area in an aluminum factory in Boyd Co. Or, they may have another one coming, but economic development director Catrina Vargo has not made such an announcement.

But candidates: please tell us what you have in mind.

Here's just three stories that reminded me that we have the location with rail, river Interstate and it is time for the state to notice Lawrence County. How would you do it?

 

STORIES FROM THE KPA NEWSLINE IN THE PAST WEEK OR SO:

 

Century Aluminum to invest $116.5 million

By Keith Lawrence
The Messenger-Inquirer

In the fall of 2015, Century Aluminum closed three potlines and laid off about 320 workers at its Hawesville smelter in a dispute over electricity prices.

But many of those jobs are now coming back.

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Wednesday that Century will invest approximately $116.5 million for improvements to the Hawesville smelter and bring back more than 250 full-time jobs.

"That's great news," Mike Baker, director of the Hancock County Industrial Foundation, said after the announcement. "Those are good-paying jobs -- around $60,000 a year -- with excellent benefits. It will be a good boost to the area's economy."

Century will upgrade its smelting technology and train new and existing employees to use the new equipment, the announcement said.

The Hawesville smelter produces high-purity metal required for the defense, aerospace and electrical industries.

Century is planning job fairs at the Owensboro Career Center on April 21, May 12 and June 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to hire hourly production positions, mechanics, electricians, supervisor roles, technicians and engineers.

Production applicants should bring their WorkKeys scores along with their high school diploma or GED.

"We are pleased to announce this investment to bring the Hawesville smelter back to full production and upgrade its technology to best in class," Jesse Gary, executive vice president of Century, said in a news release.

Century had said earlier that it planned the action after the federal tax reform act passed in December.

Last month, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval to the company for tax incentives up to $5.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program.

Century can also receive assistance from the Kentucky Skills Network.

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FITZGERALD INDUSTRIES TO BUY FORMER BELDEN PLANT
IN MONTICELLO, CREATE 250 JOBS

Aluminum dump truck bed manufacturer will invest $6 million in Wayne County operation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 29, 2018) – Gov. Matt Bevin today announced Fitzgerald Industries II LLC, which manufactures aluminum dump truck beds, will locate in the former Belden Inc. plant in Monticello with a $6 million investment that will create 250 full-time jobs.

“Fitzgerald Industries is providing an incredible opportunity for the workforce in Monticello and Wayne County,” Gov. Bevin said. “The closure of the Belden operation was a major blow to the local community, and this chance to put 250 people back to work comes at the perfect time. This investment by Fitzgerald Industries also strengthens Kentucky’s rapidly growing aluminum sector. This is truly a win for all involved, and we look forward to the company’s success in southeastern Kentucky.”

The company’s $6 million investment will reconfigure the plant and add machinery to cut, form and weld aluminum sheet for production of commercial-grade dump beds for Class 8 trucks. The facility also will form steel parts for use in fabrication of steel dump truck bodies.

Tommy A. Fitzgerald, president of Fitzgerald Industries, described his family’s enthusiasm about reopening the once bustling cable wiring plant, which closed last year as the company consolidated North American operations.

“The Fitzgerald family has made it their mission to invest in, partner with and create well-paying manufacturing jobs in the communities, particularly the rural communities, that others have left,” Fitzgerald said. “The Monticello project aligns perfectly with our mission. We are very excited about the opportunity to put Kentuckians back to work, and we appreciate the support of the state, local and federal officials who are helping us to keep manufacturing in the United States.”

###

Startup Hydroponic Farms USA Plans 121-Job Facility in Breathitt County

$44.5 million-plus investment will support production of greens, tomatoes, peppers and more

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 29, 2018) – Startup indoor farming company Hydroponic Farms USA will invest more than $44.5 million in Eastern Kentucky’s Breathitt County and create 121 jobs with the construction of a new facility on a reclaimed mine in Jackson, Gov. Matt Bevin announced today.

“The announcement of 121 full-time jobs in Breathitt County is wonderful news for Eastern Kentucky and its skilled workforce,” Gov. Bevin said. “It has been our administration’s mission to provide better job opportunities in every part of our state, and this investment is evidence that we are achieving that goal. We are truly grateful for this vote of confidence in the commonwealth. Hydroponic Farms USA will be a great fit for the Jackson community, and continues the economic momentum that is building in Eastern Kentucky.”

Hydroponic Farms USA will build a nearly 42-acre facility with 35.5 acres of production space. The facility will use hydroponic and aeroponic technology to grow leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers and other produce. The 121 jobs will include leadership, production and post-production roles. Company leaders plan to break ground following their land purchase and approval of permits.

 

 

Comments  

0 #11 Gee 2018-04-13 01:44
Quoting Jeremy:
Kentucky power would not ever completely walk away from the power plants property. If they completely shutdown then they would have to work on closing the ash pond which is in the top 10 in the United states for a danger for loss of life. So depending upon the state regs they are limited on what they can do with the pond. So Kentucky electric will most likely always have something here so they won't be out the cost to close the ash pond.

You have no idea what you are talking about. They have been in the process of closing the ash pond since 2016, And yes they HAVE shut down plants and walked away. As long as a guard is there or someone in that capacity they can do it and have.
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0 #10 Gee 2018-04-13 01:38
Quoting TheWholeStory:
Quoting LOL:
One reason we cant get anything within the city limits is our sewer plant is maxed out. I see NO ONE trying to do anything about it. They would rather build an amphitheater. I'm sure voters will take this into consideration this fall during the election. As for the county, we have no one that really cares. SOME have no initiative and are only there to draw a pay check.



The amphitheater has nothing to do with the funding for a sewer system... as it has been said over and over and over again... the funds are not interchangeable. The sewer system is a multi million dollar fix that requires specific funding and grants. The amphitheater is a grant from a fund that can never be used for a sewer system. So we can either let Paintsville get funding for Tourism activities or we can get nothing but it is not a choice between a sewer upgrade or an amphitheater. And I sure hope you aren’t a candidate for office and that you don’t understand the difference....



So, what are your priorities?
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-1 #9 Jeremy 2018-04-12 09:25
Kentucky power would not ever completely walk away from the power plants property. If they completely shutdown then they would have to work on closing the ash pond which is in the top 10 in the United states for a danger for loss of life. So depending upon the state regs they are limited on what they can do with the pond. So Kentucky electric will most likely always have something here so they won't be out the cost to close the ash pond.
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+2 #8 Whatever.... 2018-04-11 14:37
Mr. Grayson needs to be realistic here. To begin with, two of the instances you referred to involved existing facilities. Lawrence County has nothing like that to offer, no infrastructure to support any new business. As the other poster said, the river is out of the question. Beyond the coal terminals, it is shallow and unnavigable, not to mention the old locks near Burnaugh. And a couple of people own all the property in and around Louisa and choose to use it as their private junk yards. A river walk and amphitheater are not going to bring big business to this county.
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-1 #7 TheWholeStory 2018-04-11 13:13
Quoting LOL:
One reason we cant get anything within the city limits is our sewer plant is maxed out. I see NO ONE trying to do anything about it. They would rather build an amphitheater. I'm sure voters will take this into consideration this fall during the election. As for the county, we have no one that really cares. SOME have no initiative and are only there to draw a pay check.

The amphitheater has nothing to do with the funding for a sewer system... as it has been said over and over and over again... the funds are not interchangeable . The sewer system is a multi million dollar fix that requires specific funding and grants. The amphitheater is a grant from a fund that can never be used for a sewer system. So we can either let Paintsville get funding for Tourism activities or we can get nothing but it is not a choice between a sewer upgrade or an amphitheater. And I sure hope you aren’t a candidate for office and that you don’t understand the difference....
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+4 #6 TheWholeStory 2018-04-11 13:07
How can you announce a business that will supply Braidy Industry when Braidy has yet to turn the first shovel full of dirt? You can’t make promises to an industry to supply a plant that may not even be built. The stories that you referenced have nothing to do with Braidy so why did you even include them?
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+2 #5 Gee 2018-04-11 03:45
Quoting THOUGHT:
Quoting LOL:
One reason we cant get anything within the city limits is our sewer plant is maxed out. I see NO ONE trying to do anything about it. They would rather build an amphitheater. I'm sure voters will take this into consideration this fall during the election. As for the county, we have no one that really cares. SOME have no initiative and are only there to draw a pay check.

That is just one of many problems the city has. The city shares another problem with the county portion that sits just outside city limits: all the good, useable property (flat, highway and rail frontage, water, electric, etc.) is owned by just a few people that also own the property left in city limits. If they do agree to sell a portion of it, they want a fortune for it, want to control it, want it back after they're done with it, want a monthly percentage of the profits, etc., etc. What company would want to get in the middle of that kind of mess??
As far as the river, it cannot be navigated above the docks located in Boyd county. Even that area has to be dredged pretty often by the US Army Corps of Engineers. For barges to navigate up to the power plant area, some major dredging would have to take place. The river really is fairly shallow compared to what is needed. As far as rail--that's just plain expensive!!! Don't mean to be negative--just see the facts for what they are.

Clevengers are part of the problem. Always have been, always will be.
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+3 #4 THOUGHT 2018-04-10 13:53
Quoting LOL:
One reason we cant get anything within the city limits is our sewer plant is maxed out. I see NO ONE trying to do anything about it. They would rather build an amphitheater. I'm sure voters will take this into consideration this fall during the election. As for the county, we have no one that really cares. SOME have no initiative and are only there to draw a pay check.

That is just one of many problems the city has. The city shares another problem with the county portion that sits just outside city limits: all the good, useable property (flat, highway and rail frontage, water, electric, etc.) is owned by just a few people that also own the property left in city limits. If they do agree to sell a portion of it, they want a fortune for it, want to control it, want it back after they're done with it, want a monthly percentage of the profits, etc., etc. What company would want to get in the middle of that kind of mess??
As far as the river, it cannot be navigated above the docks located in Boyd county. Even that area has to be dredged pretty often by the US Army Corps of Engineers. For barges to navigate up to the power plant area, some major dredging would have to take place. The river really is fairly shallow compared to what is needed. As far as rail--that's just plain expensive!!! Don't mean to be negative--just see the facts for what they are.
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0 #3 LOL 2018-04-05 23:06
Catrina Vargo has not made such an announcement.

Seriously. What does this woman do to earn her check?????
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+5 #2 LOL 2018-04-05 23:04
One reason we cant get anything within the city limits is our sewer plant is maxed out. I see NO ONE trying to do anything about it. They would rather build an amphitheater. I'm sure voters will take this into consideration this fall during the election. As for the county, we have no one that really cares. SOME have no initiative and are only there to draw a pay check.
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+9 #1 in the know 2018-04-05 22:59
Kentucky Power DID NOT want to add the environmental controls to Big Sandy to keep burning coal. THey wanted to shut both of them down and walk away. The one unit was converted to gas after a deal was cut with the public service commission to transfer a deregulated plant sitting West Virginia owned by Ohio Power (not making a profit) to Kentucky (a regulated state) with a guaranteed profit. Nuff Said. This company could care less that your electric rates have sky rocketed.
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