Building pad nearing completion, preparing county for new industry

Published 12:08 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Prep work on the site of what could be Boyle County’s next regional employer is near completion in the county’s industrial park. It’s the first time that an industrial building pad has been constructed as a way to entice a new business to locate in the John H. Stigall Business Center, said Boyle County Industrial Foundation President Greg Caudill.

The pad is suitable for up to a 100,000-square-foot facility and sits on a 17-acre tract on Corporate Drive, which is owned by the foundation.

“The foundation is a partner with the EDP (Economic Development Partnership),” Caudill explained. “We’re using our resources to do it for the benefit of the EDP. We’re the partner who owns the land.”

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He added, “We’ve never done anything like this before. We’ve tried to attract clients in other ways.” But the EDP and the foundation have never invested in making a building site ready for an industry to construct its facility.

Caudill said members of the foundation believe that constructing the building pad in hopes of luring an industry here “would benefit the whole community. … It is for the greater good.”

The foundation is funding the entire project, he said, with money it’s generated by purchasing, developing and selling properties over the years.

EDP President and CEO Jody Lassiter said, “No public funds are being utilized for this project.” “In economic development, land and buildings are the core ‘product’ we have to sell to our potential customers,” Lassiter explained.

As a way to compete with other communities who are also working to encourage businesses to locate there, Lassiter said it was important for Boyle to “make our product the most attractive it can be to a potential prospect, to differentiate ourselves from others.

“Completing preliminary site planning, undertaking initial site preparation, and constructing an expandable pad in advance, all give our prospects the opportunity to  significantly reduce time and cost to implement their project plans.”

Construction on the pad began more than three weeks ago.

The BCIF is also paying for the services needed to certify it as a Kentucky Build-Ready Site through the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

There are many steps that must be tackled before the site can be certified. The checklist of items that must be covered include: having a master site plan and development plan; utility line extension permit and cost estimates; environmental studies; cost and schedule projects for building; project funding plan; building rendering; stormwater construction permit; and sale price set for build-ready tract, according to the Build-Ready Site webpage.

“One benefit of the program is that the Cabinet is providing enhanced attention to and marketing for Build-Ready sites,” Lassiter said. In addition, EDP will aggressively market the site through “ongoing communication with industries and site selection consultants,” and through its social media.

Lassiter said the tract was chosen to develop because, “It has been one of the most popular sites targeted by industrial prospects.” It also had all of the necessary infrastructure in place.

Also working on the project are EDP partners AGE Engineering Services from Lincoln County who developed the plan, Weddle Enterprises from Somerset, who leveled the site, and Caldwell Stone, who delivered about 3,000 tons of Dense Grade Aggregate (crushed stone) to the site.

Caudill said 25 to 30 years ago, communities like Boyle County worked to attract “big manufacturers” which provided more than 1,000 jobs. But times have changed.

He said in this economic development environment, officials are hoping to attract an industry that would hire “any number of workers.”