Magna Training Site in Limbo

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

Despite a judge's ruling to stop Governor Fletcher from funding a Magna training center with state cash, Warren County's Judge Executive says the site will be built on time.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Roger Crittenden ruled Wednesday that Governor Ernie Fletcher can enact a spending plan to run state government in the absence of a General-Assembly budget. However, that ruling comes with conditions that mandate a 2% pay raise for state workers (as opposed to 5% proposed in earlier budgets), and the ruling prevents the Governor from starting any new state-funded construction projects, which includes a $5 million training center for the Transpark's first tenant, Magna International.

"We're dissappointed that the judge ruled that we're not able to fund the KCTCS project for Magna," Daniel Groves, Fletcher's chief of staff, says. "We are going to work very diligently and very hard to find another means of being able to fund this project."

The training center is considered a key component of the package that attracted Magna to the area.

"If they have to train their employees at another facility out of state because we did not provide the facility that was committed to them by the House leadership and the Governor's office, then I think that's a very sad state of affairs," says Warren County's Judge Executive Mike Buchanon. "We need to live up to our committments."

"We are going to assure the folks at Magna and in the community that we are going to do all that we can to prevent any delays in this," Groves says.

"I'm confident that the training facility will be in place because of the commitment that was made at every level, and I'm confident that they'll work towards that, and if they don't, we will," Buchanon says.

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