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The future of Taylor County’s economic development was the highlight of Monday night’s Campbellsville City Council meeting.
Ron McMahan, executive director of the Campbellsville/Taylor County Economic Development Authority, announced that Gov. Steve Beshear will visit Campbellsville on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m.
The location of Beshear’s visit was moved from Heartland Commerce & Technology Park to the Taylor County Extension conference room because construction and excavation can’t begin until building plans are approved.
“I know the state was instrumental last year in helping us get some money for asphalt paving,” McMahan said.
“The governor and cabinet for economic development have been very engaged in the existing business project that he will be announcing that we have been working on as a community for the last 21 months, so I hope to see a good crowd there. It will be a nice capital investment for our community.”
McMahan reported that the unemployment rate for Taylor County, as of September, was 7.2 percent, slightly lower than the state rate of 7.8 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate is 7.6 percent.
“We’re looking pretty good there. Amazon is hiring local people again. We talked with them last week and they want as many people as they can get,” McMahan said. “It costs them less to hire local.”
McMahan said that those who start out as temporary or seasonal workers will be first in line for full-time positions as they come open.
He said the EDA also met with officials at Serco last week and announced they are also hiring.
According to McMahan, four companies have made inquiries on availabilities in and demographics of Taylor County in the last six weeks.
McMahan also showed a photo rendition of a sign and fence that will be constructed on both sides of the access road at Heartland Commerce & Technology Park.
He said funding for the project did not come from taxpayers, but instead from donations from two private entities.
The Campbellsville/Taylor County Industrial Development Foundation made a donation and the now defunct Green, Taylor and Adair Tri-County Economic Foundation gave money that was left from when it disbanded.
Councilwoman Patti Phillips asked about the grounds upkeep once the project is complete. She said when weeds grow around it, it will not look good. McMahan said he had plans to discuss the issue with Taylor County Jailer Hack Marcum and with city and county road departments to find out what can be done to keep the area mowed.
“The state doesn’t do that, and with budget cuts I think they’ve gone down to mowing about once a year,” McMahan said.
Phillips then asked if there is an environmentally friendly treatment that could be used to kill weeds. McMahan said any type of herbicide will eventually cause erosion and that if they decide to put gravel there, vegetation will help prevent the rocks from being washed away.
Council member Terry Keltner did not attend the meeting.