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Columbia/Adair Co. EDA very optimistic about jobs, growth

At the Tue, July 19, 2016 regular meeting:
  • Chairman Dykes says prospects good for new company in Columbia, which would initially provide 15-20 jobs starting at $15/hour
  • Mayor Hardwick updates group on advances in aviation training, facilities improvements, and says lengthening runway - to 5,000-6,000 feet is a goal.
  • Sewer project at Green River Commerce Park: Mayor agrees, EDA approves, allowing city to advertise bids needed for sewer project
  • Tony Compton robotic milking operation draws 35 person Governor's Ag Policy group to Columbia
  • Concerns raised about Heartland Delay, safety factors

Click on headline for complete story

By Ed Waggener

The Columbia/Adair County Economic Development Authority held a brief meeting, but one filled with prospects for a brighter future, including the prospects of a new plant initially employing 15-20 people, with starting pay in the $15 an hour range.

Chairman Mark Dykes alluded to the prospect, without giving any indication of the type of business it would be, but said that Lake Cumberland Area Development District and the Kentucky Department of Economic Development are working on the recruitment. Mayor Curtis Hardwick, who attended the meeting, said that the city of Columbia will be looking at ways the city can help secure the employer.

Mr. Dykes presided, with members Randy Burns, Ann Martin, Kenzie Rowe, and Dean Adams also in attendance, were were Mayor Hardwick, an ex officio member, but non-voting member of the board, and representatives of local media.

Sewer project at Green River Commerce Park moves ahead

Chairm Dykes noted that with Adair Fiscal Court voting to share in the new sewer project at Green River Commerce Park, that project is moving ahead. He said that County Attorney Jennifer Hutchison Corbin advised him that materials for the project would have to be bid, and she suggested that the city or county take the lead. Subject to advice from City Attorney Marshall Loy, Mayor Hardwick said, he saw no reason why the city would not advertise and manage the bidding process.

The project is expected to get underway within 90 days.

Chairman Dykes asked members to take part in Red Tape elimination

Chair Dykes reminded members of the Red Tape Reduction Iniative Governor Matt Bevin has initiated, and requested that members participate to help find ways to eliminate some of the over 4,000 state laws affecting business.

Mayor Hardwick say airport expansion is a goal

Mayor Curtis Hardwick enumerated recent advances at the C/AC Airport and told the EDA group that longer runway is the next goal. "We'll be asking for help building a 6,200 ft. runway," he said, "but if it is more than 5,200 feet - that will mean a real boost. If small jets have to land in Campbellsville or Russell County, that's where they are likely to stay." He made the remarks following comments by Chairman Dykes on the benefits the community is getting from vocational education at Lindsey Wilson College and the positive publicity the community has received from the results of the leadership of Superintendent Alan Reed.

Mayor Hardwick said that the city and county are now working to greatly expand airport parking, that the new fuel system is on the way, and said that vocational training, available to students from both Adair and Metcalfe County aerospace & aviation academies, will bring a brighter future to the area.

Chairman Dykes reports on Governor's Ag Policy Committee visit
Chairman Dykes said that a high level group, some 35 people with the Governor's Ag Policy Committee, were in Columbia recently to visit Tony Compton's robotic milking operation. It was a good chance to showcase not only the innovative farm, where cows report in - on their own, an average of 2.7 times a day, to be milked by robotic milkers - but also to showcase Lindsey Wilson College, where the visitors had their meals.

He advised all the members to go see the milking operation when they could. The farm is in the Fairplay Community, accessed of KY 704/Fairplay Road, accessed from either Loy Cemetery Road or Eddie Compton Road.

Group discusses delays on Heartland Parkway

Concerns were raised about delays on the completion of the Heartland Parkway, which a mid-August deadline. Consensus was that it might not happen by then. Kinzie Rowe said that he'd think it may be closer to September-October when it is completed. Others were concerned with the safety of the road, now, during construction, as well as after it is completed. The guardrails have been hit numerous times, during construction; some voiced concern that safey issues would continue after it is open.

Rodney Hitch to speak at August 16, 2016 meeting

Chairman Dykes reminded the group that Rodney Hitch, Economic Development Manager with East Kentucky Power Cooperative will speak at 18 August 2016 EDA meeting.

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; Mark Dykes, Chairman; Secretary, Randy Burns; Treasurer, Mike Curry, and Members Ann Martin, and Anthony Janes. Ex officio non-voting, Adair County Judge Mike Stephens, Columbia Mayor Curtis Hardwick

This story was posted on 2016-07-19 09:03:51
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