Welcome

Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Industrial park board faces 'mega' challenge

BY DAVID ZOELLERdzoeller@paducahsun.com

MAYFIELD - Well over 10 years after it was formed, and five years since it was designated a "megasite," the Purchase Regional Industrial Park in Graves County sits empty.

And, as they have since its inception, officials connected to the project continue to grapple with how to achieve the project's goal of bringing jobs to the region.

The park was formed in 2001. Through additional land acquisition over the next few years it grew to 2,200 acres. In 2009, the park was designated as a megasite, which was seen as a necessary step to attract a prospect such as an auto plant or other large industry.

Megasites typically target businesses that would require 1,000 or more acres and $500 million in investments and generate between 500 and 2,000 jobs.

Representatives of the eight participating counties - Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, and McCracken - make up the board which owns the site.

Graves County representative Tony Goodman, who serves as board chairman, said the idea of attracting one large prospect was the original intent, one that may need to be re-examined.

"That (attracting one big prospect) was the reasoning," said Goodman. "It probably needs to be changed. I don't know to what extent. That's something we're going to work on in the future."

The board also will need to hire a manager or leader, since the departure of Bill Beasley, Goodman said. Beasley started with the project in 2001, left the organization, and returned a few years later as a consultant before leaving to pursue other projects.

"He's done a good job for us," Goodman said. "We need to find the next person to step up and get things going again."

The chairman said hopefully with the economy picking up, and a point person to lead a marketing effort, the project can go forward.

There are still challenges. While the board owns the land, and has leased a large portion as farmland to generate some income, estimates to build the needed infrastructure at the site have ranged from $40 million to $70 million.

Fulton County Judge-Executive David Gallagher, who along with other county judge-executives appoint members to the board, knows the estimated infrastructure cost for things like roads, rail access, water and sewer lines, electricity, etc., is a major hurdle.

"That's a huge price (for infrastructure)," Gallagher said. "I don't see that happening, somebody writing us a check (for $70 million)."

Gallagher agrees the megasite idea is "probably not as viable as it once was." He'd like to see the board rely on the economic development professionals who are already members, such as Fulton-Hickman County Economic Development Director Eddie Crittendon, whom he appointed.

"We really need input from our economic development people who understand the labor force and what's available out there (as prospects)," Gallagher said. "I'm in favor of it being successful. We just need to come up with a strategy, a direction to go in."

Chad Chancellor, Paducah Economic Development president/CEO, was appointed by McCracken County Judge-Executive Van Newberry. Whether the site ultimately attracts one large industry, two medium-sized ones, or any other combination, it has to be seen, he said.

"I'm not aware of a prospect in the last two years," Chancellor said. "It's one thing not to be able to win every prospect, but it's another thing not to have anybody come look at it. You've got to have prospects ... it's as simple as that."

Contact David Zoeller, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.

Comments made about this article - 1 Total

Donald Frick posted on: Sunday, July 20, 2014 7:50 AM

Title: Industrial Park Board faces Mega challenge

Ethonal Plant===Corn Growing Area===Would Support Agriculture in Western Kentucky from Grower to Livestock Feeders{Poultry, Swine, Cattle, etc.}. Would Create Jobs and Support Industries.

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 2b08f0f17ab84c5ba5cbe5214054fc37
Top Classifieds
  • Pugs Registered. Black, Female. Shot ... Details
  • AKC Lab Pups *3/Black female $375 *1 ... Details
  • CKC Tiny Toy Poodles270-554-4308 Details
  • F1 Golden Doodles M/F, Beautiful,6 wk ... Details
  • MJS Concrete Specializing In:Stamped ... Details
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • JOHN DEERE Riding Mower ... Details
  • PILLOWTOP Mattress Sets, NEW in plast ... Details
  • Details
  • ASPHALT & CONCRETE REPAIR, SEALIN ... Details
  • Lakewood Villa Condo for Sale - 2460 ... Details
  • NEW 50x60 steel bldg. equipped w/12x1 ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • 8 Unit Apt. Bldgs. For Sale By Owner ... Details
  • Corner Lot, 1 acre Kevil $16,500 2704 ... Details
  • For Sale/Lease Deerview Estates (Calv ... Details
  • Duplex By Owner 3 BR 1 BA each side ... Details
  • Chrome Running Boards $300270-331-76 ... Details
  • StarCraft V-bottom 16 ft. wide & ... Details
  • 39' Heartland Landmark 4 Slides ... Details
  • JOE'S BACKHOESERVICE Install &am ... Details
  • 1963 Chev. Bel-Air, 2 dr post, 327 5 ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. U of L trustees give big to Beshear causes
  2. 'LIVE on the RIVER' teams with truck pull
  3. Campus officer pleads not guilty in shooting
  1. Girl's body found in Ballard pond
  2. Newborn baby found in dumpster
  3. One man shot at Noble Park
  1. U of L trustees give big to Beshear causes
  2. 'LIVE on the RIVER' teams with truck pull
  3. Campus officer pleads not guilty in shooting
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...