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Why can't we incent industry to move here?

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By The Staff

In response to the Jan. 7 front page article concerning the funding of the new Campbellsville industrial park, the question weighing on my mind, and I'm sure many other concerned citizens of Campbellsville, is what are the incentives for bringing industries into the existing unused spec buildings in Campbellsville and surrounding counties?

Why put our focus on building more spec buildings when we can't even fill our existing ones?

I understand the concern to promote growth in Campbellsville, but why put focus on building an industrial park when we could use some of the money for incentives to bring industries to Campbellsville? Focusing more on bringing incentives into the unused spec buildings, in my opinion, would more quickly lower our unemployment rates and get our citizens back on track in the work force.

I think Team Taylor County should at least have a bi-weekly article in the CKNJ on their recruiting plans to keep the citizens of Campbellsville informed.

Gordon Caldwell

Campbellsville

Team Taylor County Executive Director Ron McMahan had this response:

I appreciate Mr. Caldwell's concern. I'm always looking for an opportunity to inform the public about what's going on with Team Taylor County.

Several months ago, I approached the CKNJ about writing such an article. They have honored my request by agreeing to let me write a quarterly guest column. The first column will appear in the first quarter of 2008.

Taylor County is eligible for the following incentives: KREDA, KJDA, KEDFA Direct Loan Program, KEOZ and BSSC training. These are promoted to the existing businesses and to prospective relocating companies.

We will not focus on building any additional speculative buildings until the current available buildings have been marketed. Two of the available buildings are now under serious consideration from one existing business and one relocating company. Two other existing businesses have expressed interest in two more available buildings. It would be great if all of these deals go through and we are suddenly out of available buildings.

The $98,000 grant is to be used for constructing several prepared, shovel-ready sites that would be available for existing or relocating companies.

We currently have one six-acre tract available in the old industrial park. The remaining land is not in our control. It is owned by the adjacent existing businesses and is not for sale. Therefore, the Industrial Development Authority reacted proactively when they purchased land on KY 55 in 2003. This land is now the new Heartland Commerce and Technology Park.

The state and federal funds received to date cannot be used for incentives offered to relocating businesses. They were appropriated for infrastructure and site development only.

Taylor County's current unemployment rate is as low as it has been in the last three years.

Our unemployment rate for November 2007 was 4.9 percent, nearly as low as the state rate of 4.6 percent. In October 2007, the rates were 5.2 percent and 5.1 percent respectively. The 2004-2006 average annual unemployment rates for Taylor County were 5.2 percent, 5.3 percent and 4.9 percent.