October 22, 2012

Businesses calling, no space to locate

Laurel County seeking land for industrial park

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The phones are ringing and interest is high as several businesses are looking to locate in London and Laurel County. But, according to Laurel County Judge Executive David Westerfield, the county has no sites to house the businesses.

“We’re looking for land for a new industrial park,” Westerfield told members of the London-Laurel County Tourism Commission. “People are calling but we don’t have anywhere to put them.”

Deanna Herrmann, executive director of the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce, agreed.

“We’re getting the calls but we don’t have any space,” she said. “These are big businesses that are really interested in coming here.”

The last industrial park site on Vaughn Ridge Road off west Ky. 80 has all lots taken and construction is underway on the last two spots.

That announcement was one of several topics discussed at the regular monthly meeting of the Tourism Commission on Tuesday afternoon.

The success of the World Chicken Festival dominated most of the discussion, with London Downtown executive director Chris Robinson stating the Chicken Invasion was a huge success.

“There were more than 13,000 votes cast,” Robinson said. “And we have two sculpted chickens on display.”

Area schools that participated in the event drew many votes and large crowds to the area, Robinson said, and members of the Tourism Commission agreed with Robinson that the creativity shown in this year’s display showcased the talent of the community.

Last weekend’s Thriller Ride was a great success, as well, said Rodney Hendrickson, co-director of the Tourism Commission. A avid bicyclist himself, Hendrickson said the weather for the fall ride was perfect and the Thriller event is hoped to become as popular as the springtime Redbud Ride.

“We can play one off the other,” Hendrickson said, “and most people who were here last weekend are interested in coming back in spring.”

Robinson also announced the date of this year’s Christmas on Main event, which will take place on Friday, Nov. 30. The parade theme this year is “Christmas at the Movies, Part II” and will play off last year’s themes featuring  favorite Christmas movies. An application for the float entries will appear in the Sentinel-Echo in the coming weeks and persons wishing to enter the parade need to contact the London Downtown office at (606) 862-8841.