Lincoln hopes industrial park will entice jobs

October 15, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - With the help of a good sales pitch and a soon-to-be complete industrial park, Lincoln County's workforce might see an increase in employment opportunities in time to pay off their Christmas credit card bills.

Still months away from its January completion date, Lincoln County Industrial Park II is already attracting prospective tenants.

"We've got one (company) looking right now," said Judge-Executive Buckwheat Gilbert.

Located outside the city limits on U.S. 150 East, the 235-acre park is being built to entice industry into the area. The park is scheduled to be completed in January, barring weather delays.

On Tuesday, magistrates voted in favor of paying $56,000 for work on the Industrial park's water tower, one expense in a long line of bills being approved by magistrates monthly since construction began in November.

"We've been working on it maybe seven months. We ran sewage (service) out there, and a 10-inch water line," said Gilbert. "We're trying very hard to entice some industry here."


In June 2001, the project received a federal reimbursement grant of $1 million from the Economic Development Administration.

John Blevins, executive director of the Stanford/Lincoln County Industrial Development Authority, worked with Bluegrass Area Development District to write the grant.

"When we put the application together, we predicted a rough estimate of eight to 10 jobs per acre," said Blevins. "But that's a rough estimate. A lot of it depends on the investment of the company."

In order to be awarded the grant, local governmets had to make a monetary commitment. Stanford and Lincoln County invested $250,000, Stanford water works and the industrial authority both invested $54,500. Blevins said the money invested would directly affect the county's job market outlook.

"What they're doing now is investing in the future," said Blevins.

The work originally was slated to be completed next month, but this year's wet summer delayed construction. A deadline extension was granted by the EDA, pushing the completion date back to January.

"We want to try to entice some industry here for our people," said Gilbert. "We have a surplus of workers, and we need jobs."

Gilbert said additional jobs will help strengthen the community and entice future generations to stay in the area.

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