By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Sealing the deal for a new industrial park came this week after years of negotiations between the local industrial development authority and the landowner.
The final paperwork was completed early this week and puts the industrial development authority as the owner of a 49.5 acre tract in the Fariston community between Byble Road and Hammock Road.
Charlie Pennington, executive director of the local industrial development authority, said the site is perfect for industrial development.
“It has a 900 foot frontage onto Fariston Road, utilities are readily available, it has a waste water treatment pressure line that runs from Aisin (Automotive) to the airport, and the land is flat and the site prep is minimal,” Pennington said.
The land was formerly used as a dairy farm but most recently has served as a pasture for grazing cattle.
“This is basically virgin land that has never been used for anything but farming,” he said. “It is basically flat with just a few inclines.”
Pennington added the layout of the land is a key factor in selecting areas where industrial parks can be situated.
“Excavation is a very expensive item,” he said. “And you also have to consider access for big trucks. We searched all over the county and we found many properties but the access was not suitable for big trucks to come in and out. That’s an important factor we have to consider when looking at land for an industrial park.”
But business development doesn’t end with the 49-acre plot on Fariston Road. An additional tract that would bring the industrial park to a total of 91 acres is the next step in developing more business parks in the area.
“We have a lot of pending inquiries,” Pennington added. “We have many companies that contact us about locating, relocating and expanding. Not only do we recruit new businesses to the area, we also help companies currently located here in expanding and relocating as they grow.”
The proof of that dedication to assisting existing businesses is obvious with past expansions at Aisin as well as current expansions at ABC Automotive and the relocation of Benore Logistics.
“We are here to help businesses grow, whether it be new, retention or expansion that provides more jobs in the area,” Pennington said. “I think that is what sets us apart from other areas. If there is a question or a problem, we try to help these companies because we don’t want to just bring them here, we want to encourage them to stay here.”