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EDA votes not to pursue idea of use of GRCP for fairgrounds

EDA decides not to pursue covenant changes necessary at Green River Commerce Park for the Jaycees to get 40 acres for a new fairground. Chairman Dykes updates group on sewer project at GRCP. Group plans letters to new political leadership in Frankfort and Washington. Group gets word of plans for hotel opening, for Brown & Brown call center expansion, for the Franklin Center and jobs growth there, for credit processing center on Jamestown Street, for Walmart Training Facility outlook. Group has wide ranging discussion on need to streamline development.
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By Ed Waggener

The Columbia-Adair County Economic Development Authority voted this morning, Tuesday, November 15, 2016, not to pursue changing covenants to allow the Jaycees to have use of acreage needed for a fairground. The Jaycees had previously requested in the October meeting, consideration to acquire 40 acres in the Green River Commerce Park for a new home for the Adair County Fairgrounds.

The vote was unanimous, with members present, Anthony Janes, Dean Adams, Randy Burns, Kenzie Rowe, and Ann Martin all giving voice approval.

A tip off that further discussion was unlikely came early, when no representative of the Jaycees was present for the meeting.

Sewer project is moving ahead

Chairman Mark Dykes reported that all the paperwork for the interlocal agreement involving the EDA, Adair Fiscal Court, the City of Columbia, and anchor tenant of Green River Commerce Park had been completed, and that Lenny Stone, General Manager of Columbia/Adair Utilities District, had told him the sewer project at Green River Commerce is now ready for construction to begin.

Chairman Dykes concluded, "I'm just tickeled to get the job underway, and thankful for Lenny Stone's help. Without it," he said, "the project would have have gotten done.

Secretary Burns proposes letters to political leadership

Member Randy Burns proposed that a letter be drafted to Governor Matt Bevin to make the governor award of how this local project, originally scheduled to be completed with grant money, was becoming a reality at a lower cost to the local community than it would have been had a grant been obtained as originally hoped. "This fits with his (Governor Bevin's) goals to have more local initiative, less dependence on the State and Federal Government," he said.

That will be done, it was agreed, as will a letter to Rep. Jeff Hoover, who will be Speaker of the House of Representatives. CJE Mike Stephens, who was in attendance, noted that while Mr. Hoover is not Adair County's State Representative, he is very much interested in helping Adair County, particularly in tourism. "He knows how much tourism means to this area," Judge Stephens said.

The group also cited the election of Rep. Jamie Comer as an asset. "It doesn't hurt that he is from just 60 miles down the road," he said, and Chairman Dykes said that Tiffany Kessler, an Adair Countian, will have a high staff position with the the new Congressman, who has already been seated for the unexpired term of Rep. Ed Whitfield.

New projects progress discussed

Several positive developments were cited:
  • Chairman Dykes said that a principal in the Sleep Inn hotel, Tommy Grider, is projecting a first of December opening, and it will mean 25-30 new jobs.
  • Chairman Dykes and Judge Stephens reported that the new Brown & Brown call center building should be ready by December 15, and Judge Stephens reported that the there are now plans to double employment there, for a total of 50 new jobs

  • Judge Stephens and EDA member Anthony Janes reported that the new Pinewood Shopping Center is progressing on schedule, but did not give an estimated time for it to be open. They also commented on the Franklin Mall, which will included Janes Appliance, recently purchased by the Franklin Family, and, they said, there will soon be 20-30 people at a time temporarily training at the new Walmart Training Center.
  • Judge Stephens reported that there are plans to locate the Franklin Family's full credit processing center in what is now the Janes Appliance Center at 705 Jamestown Street. "That will mean 30 new jobs. He said that if there may be possibility for the Franklin Group to local a large, central maintenance facility in a possible new section of Franklin Mall.
Not so positive look ahead by Judge Stephens

Judge Stephens cited what he sees as possible roadblocks ahead. One is the county's ban on Sunday alcohol sales. The other is what he says are Columbia rules and regulations which, he maintains, are stifling growth and recruitment of new jobs.

Treasurer Ann Martin gives first report as treasurer

New treasurer Ann Martin, who was elected to the position following the resignation from the board of Mike Curry, reported $163,155.79 ending balance for the month just ended. Expenditures during the month were $3,488.25: $212.50 to Parnell Fencing; $3,125.75 to the Chamber of Commerce; and $150 to Caleb Irvin for photography for the EDA's website.

Routine matters handled routinely

Routine matters, including minutes, were routinely approved.

Present were Chairman Mark Dykes, Secretary Randy Burns, Treasurer Ann Martin, and members Anthony Janes, Dean Adams, and Kenzie Rowe; CJE Mike Stephens, and representatives of the media.

This story was posted on 2016-11-15 10:25:41
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New EDA board member Roger Meadows

2016-11-16 - Chamber Building, 201 Burkesville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, (c).
New Columbia/Adair County Economic Development Authority member Roger Meadows attended his first meeting Tuesday morning, 15 Nov 2016. - EW. Clicking Read More acceseses the story, posted just after the meeting closed.

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World's Prettiest Sleep Inn - Construction stage, 17 Nov 2016

2016-11-19 - Sleep Inn, 350 Dohoney Trace, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, (c).
Many have commented on the handsome look of Columbia's brick-and-stone faced Sleep Inn & Suites, which is now almost ready to open. Concensus opinion: It's the prettiest in the chain. According to information learned at the Tues 15 Nov 2016 meeting of the Columbia Adair County Economic Development Authority, the Sleep Inn will open around December 1, 2016, and according to reports at the meeting, the enterprise will add another 25-30 jobs to the local economy. - EW. Photo 2015-11-17. Clicking Read More accesses the report from the EDA Meeting.

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