The Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization approved grant requests from Ballard and Marshall counties Wednesday, in its ongoing effort to support job creation in the region.

Ballard County received approval for a $50,000 grant to help fund the ongoing effort to support small business job growth through its business retention and expansion program initiated by its Industrial Development Authority.

The expansion totals $100,000, with $50,000 coming from other sources.

“This grant is to help the small businesses that are opening up and creating new jobs,” said John Summers, a Ballard County representative on the PACRO board.

“We have businesses that are opening up in several of our small towns and we’re giving that support during this pandemic. We make sure they are job creators. It (business retention and expansion program) has been a very, very good thing for us.”

Marshall County received approval for a $5,925 grant to go toward engineering services for the second phase of its Southwest One Industrial Park, which will include an engineer study for an alternate access to the park.

The grants come from funds previously allocated by PACRO to its member entities.

Greg Wiles, PACRO executive director, updated the board on the ongoing effort to identify and obtain surplus assets from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant for economic development purposes.

“We have been offered — and accepted — 17 storage tanks from the DOE site and have a buyer that has offered $8,000 apiece for the tanks, and $400 for a heat exchanger. That hopefully is going to be coming soon,” he said.

The board approved a motion to have Wiles draw up an agreement and pursue the sale of the tanks. The executive director gave a summary of the assets previously received and some that are anticipated in the near future.

PACRO is anticipating significant revenue from the continued dismantling and recycling of materials from switchyards at the site such as copper, aluminum and steel no longer needed.

“The switchyard (project) is still a go,” Wiles said. “The work’s been completed on making sure the assets are not contaminated.”

As soon as DOE approves a contract to demolish and prepare the materials for PACRO, the organization will hire its own contractor to take the materials off-site.

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