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Russell Co IDA gives tour of French Valley Business Park

By Allison Cross
Marketing & Communications Coordinator, The Center for Rural Development

Russell Springs, KY - The Russell County Industrial Development Authority (RCIDA) gave Austin Consulting a tour of the French Valley Business Park this week. The consulting firm is working to certify the park as a "Shovel Ready" site for the food and beverage industry.

The RCIDA, received a $10,000 grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission Flex-E-Grant program, which is administered by The Center for Rural Development. Funds for hiring the consulting firm is provided by the grant.

The goal of the project is to achieve a "shovel-ready" designation in order to attract new industries to the county. The food and beverage certification will differentiate the site from other regional parks and significantly decrease the amount of time site selectors or companies must spend on the detailed site investigation of the location study. This both makes the site more attractive by eliminating perceived risks for a potential tenant and accelerates the recruitment and construction permitting process.

RCIDA Executive Director Bennie Garland guided representatives from Austin Consulting throughout a tour of Russell County and the business park.

"With the plant closure of (Fruit of the Loom) leaving Russell County with excessive water and wastewater availability, the Russell County Industrial Development Authority feels that all options should be looked at in order to provide new industrial and business growth opportunities and one of those being the food and beverage industry," Garland said.

Austin Consulting Managing Director Frank Spano said they will take a lot of different factors into consideration when they do their assessment including biological/environmental factors, utilities, sewage systems, water output and etc.

Austin Consulting and RCIDA board members also heard presentations and questions from local leaders such as the Duo County Telephone Cooperative CEO, Thomas Preston; Russell Springs Mayor, Eric Selby; Jamestown Mayor, Nick Shearer; Public Works Director, Terry Russell; City Clerk/Treasurer, Tyler McGowan; Russell County Judge Executive, Gary Robertson; Lake Cumberland Gas Authority Board Member, Bill Schott; South Kentucky RECC Engineer, Kevin Newton; and East Kentucky Power Manager of Economic Development, Rodney Hitch.

The Center for Rural Development and the Brushy Fork Institute worked together to choose projects, such as the one in Russell County, for the ARC Flex-E-Grants that align with the goals of the program and support other regional initiatives such as Shaping Our Appalachian Region and the Kentucky Promise Zone. The grants provide a critical resource for communities to plan and implement projects that address both local and regional development efforts.

For more information on the ARC Flex-E-Grant program, visit or call 606-677-6000.

This story was posted on 2016-08-10 18:03:22
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French Valley Business Park

2016-08-10 - Russell Co., KY - Photo by Allison Cross. RCIDA Executive Director Bennie Garland gave Austin Consulting and board members a tour of the French Valley Business Park. Austin Consulting is certifying the park as "Shovel Ready" which they hope will attract new businesses to the area.
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