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EDA Board hits ground running - aids Whayne Supply recruitment
At Tuesday's Columbia/Adair County Economic Development meeting:
By Ed Waggener
The Columbia/Adair County Economic Development Board met Tuesday, June 17, 2014, with three new members, bankers Ann Martin, Mark Dykes, and Mike Curry, and quickly focused on the realities, opportunities, and challenges facing the effort to improve the local economic situation.
At least one new employer is giving Columbia, KY, a hard look, new member Mark Dykes reported, giving details of the prospect for a Wayne Supply Company to add Columbia as its 17th outlet.
Vice Chairman of the authority, Dan Antle presided. The new board delayed election of new officers, but did name two members to check signing status - Randy Burns and Mike Curry - to allow the authority meet necessary ongoing payments.
Chairman Antle presents current status update
Chairman Dan Antle laid out a brief history and general overview of the authority's situation. "We face an uphill battle," he said, noting that the authority is often unable to compete with better funded EDA's in the region. Cash Incentives are limited he said. Virtually the only income the authority has now is its lease income for cropland in Green River Commerce Park, which now exceeds $50,000 annually.
He said that neither Adair Fiscal Court nor the City of Columbia is currently contributing to the authority.
On the plus side, he said that Green River Commerce Park is debt free. And the authority maintains good relationship with the Department of Commerce in Frankfort.
Tony Corbin, Mark Dykes report on prospects for Whayne Supply location
Members Tony Corbin and Mark Dykes reported on a meeting at Lindsey Wilson College with 165-170 persons present at which Whayne Supply CEO, President and sole owner Monty Bloyd was present.
The company is planning a 16th in Kentucky, 17th overall (there's one Whayne Supply in Jeffersonville, IN) location for a distribution center. The company's nearest locations now are in Somerset to the east, Bowling Green to the West, and Elizabethtown to the north.
Columbia with its location as a highway hub is in a good strategic position to be chosen, the authority was told. Competition, at present, include Danville and Glasgow.
The location would sell, rent, and service agricultural equipment. It would employ 12-16 people initially, and might grow to include assembly of large equipment as well.
Lindsey Wilson College and the welding programs at the Lake Cumberland Technology satellite campus at Adair County High School were listed as major assets.
Mr. Dykes said that a presentation by Nick Roy, Adair County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources, which gave agribusiness statistics for the immediate area, was a big help in the presentation.
Some concern was expressed over the hospital situation, but the members expressed belief that Westlake CEO Neal Gold has been able to dispel doubts about the hospital's future and would be able to provide necessary information which Mr. Bloyd might need in making the decision.
At Chairman Dan Antle's suggestion, a pro-active recruitment of Wayne Supply will be undertaken. Members Randy Burns and Mark Dykes volunteered to develop a presentation.
Sue Stivers reports on Work Ready status
Executive Secretary Sue Stivers gave an update on the Columbia/Adair County Work Ready Community application.
An application for Re-Certification of the Work Ready Community in Progress status is ready to be submitted.
She indicated that the community is just short in two areas of education to make the final cut to full recognition as a Work Ready in Progress community.
While the high school graduation rate has improved from 76.87% to 89.80% and needs to rise to 90%.
And, the county needs an increase has 24% who have at least an associate level college education, and 25% is needed for certification.
Big improvements in GED High School graduation was noted, as well as Career Readiness.
Randy Burns told the group that Barney Burns as yet unnamed fun center on Campbellsville Road at Shady lane is fast moving toward completion. Bowling lanes are ready to be set, and a target early to mid August opening is expected.
The opening of an all new Taco Bell Restaurant on Jamestown Street was acknowledged.
Present at the meeting were members Dan Antle, Ann Martin, Tony Corbin, Randy Burns, Mike Curry, and Mark Curry; Executive Secretary Sue Stivers, and members of the media.
COLUMBIA/ADAIR COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (CACEDA), meets each third Tuesday, at 8am-9amCT, at Chamber Building, 201 Burkesville ST, Columbia, KY. Meeting is open to the public. - Sue Stivers, 270384-6020 Executive Director; Kathy Johnson, Office Manager; Dan Antle, Vice-Chairman and acting chairman; Members, Ann Martin, Randy Burns, Tony Corbin, Mark Dykes, Anthony Janes, and Mike Curry. Ex officio non-voting, Adair County Judge Ann Melton, Columbia Mayor Mark D. Harris.
This story was posted on 2014-06-19 04:21:32
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