West Industrial Park Addition and Upgrades Position Logan County to Attract New Business
FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) Demand for available sites and buildings in Kentucky is growing, with a substantial number of companies looking to locate and expand in the commonwealth. Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced funding for Logan County Industrial Development Authority to develop an additional 52 acres in the West Industrial Park.
“This is an exciting time in the commonwealth for economic development, as more and more companies invest here,” Gov. Beshear said. “Because of that, we have to do our part to prepare quality sites and buildings for future growth. We are just getting started, and if we want to ensure we keep this economic momentum going, we must be proactive by improving local infrastructure. Congratulations to the leaders in Logan County and thank you for partnering with us to create a better Kentucky.”
West Industrial Park is one of several high-quality heavy industrial sites in the commonwealth. The approved funding will be used for clearing, grubbing and rough-grading the new 52-acre acquisition. The project is expected to include a $1.46 million investment in the park and add to Kentucky’s impressive sites and buildings inventory.
The Logan County location was selected for funding through the Product Development Initiative (PDI) in 2020. PDI was created through a partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development (KCED) and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED) to provide competitive grants to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments to supplement site and building improvement projects. PDI aims to create jobs and corporate investment by enhancing the quality and quantity of Kentucky’s available sites and buildings. As well, it encourages collaboration among Kentucky economic developers and stakeholders with an emphasis on speed-to-market to help new and expanding businesses quickly find suitable locations in Kentucky.
Matt Tackett, president and CEO of KAED, said PDI prepares communities to improve infrastructure and capitalize quickly on global investments.
“As economic momentum is surging in the commonwealth, communities must be ready to capitalize on unprecedented opportunity. PDI is a key tool to assist in this effort, as it provides strategic investments to enhance our ability to provide global enterprise with quick, risk-free site selection experiences,” Tackett said. “KAED congratulates the team in Logan County for winning a PDI grant, better preparing a key regional asset and accelerating economic opportunity in the commonwealth.”
PDI boosts the commonwealth’s ability to attract a diverse base of businesses of every size. This adds to the state’s numerous other advantages, including its ideal geographic location with its borders within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population, the lowest industrial electric costs east of the Mississippi River and a skilled workforce ready to meet the needs of any company.
Logan Chick, judge/executive in Logan County and chair of the Logan County Industrial Development Authority, said the site upgrades help Russellville stand out among the competition when it comes to site selection.
“We are thankful to be chosen as a recipient of the PDI grant and look forward to seeing the impact the additional funds have on West Industrial Park and our community,” Judge/Executive Chick said. “As current chairman of the Logan Industrial Development Authority, I understand how competitive the site selection process is, and we continually seek ways to make sure Logan County is in the game. We’re grateful to the Cabinet for Economic Development and KAED for the PDI initiative. This grant will allow Logan IDA to make a great industrial site even better.”
Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton said he’s excited to better position the community for investments that will directly impact its citizens.
“As speed-to-market becomes more critical for companies looking for places to invest, it is vital that we have sites available that exceed expectations. The improvements we will be making to West Industrial Park will better position the City of Russellville and Logan County to recruit new or expanding companies to our community, allowing us to further prosper our citizens,” Mayor Stratton said. “Thank you to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development for partnering together to make this grant possible. We’re excited to take West Industrial Park to the next level.”
Jim DeCesare, executive director of the Logan Economic Alliance for Development, added that the additional upgrades to the park will add to the existing appeal for attracting manufacturers to the area.
“The West Industrial Park is a phenomenal site in Russellville. It is accessible by rail, a four-lane state highway and has all the utilities any industry needs. The PDI grant allows the Logan Economic Alliance for Development to make additional site improvements needed to attract an advance manufacturing facility to Logan County,” DeCesare said. “I want to thank Gov. Beshear, Logan County Fiscal Court, City of Russellville, the Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development for the support in making this grant possible.”
Investment in the Logan County site furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state surges ahead in response to the effects of the pandemic.
This year, the commonwealth has shattered every economic development record in the books for yearly investment totals. Year-to-date, private-sector new-location and expansion announcements include over $10 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create 15,200-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Through September, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage is $24.15 before benefits, a 10% increase over the previous year.
In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.
In July, thanks to strong fiscal management by the Beshear administration, the state budget office reported the commonwealth ended the 2021 fiscal year with a general fund surplus of over $1.1 billion – the highest ever in the commonwealth – and a 10.9% increase in general fund receipts to $12.8 billion.
In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services. The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.
Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million. Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.
To encourage future investment and location of an economic development project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in October approved a grant agreement with the Logan Industrial Development Authority under the Economic Development Fund program. The grant agreement may provide up to $335,361 in funding on a reimbursement basis based on the project investment of $1,461,763.