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New industrial site to be built in Barren Co. bringing hundreds of jobs

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 3:49 PM CDT
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BARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) - City and County officials broke ground on a new industrial site in Barren County Wednesday morning.

Seven new industrial sites are expected to be built across 150 plus acres off of Highway 68 which will be known as South Cooper Industrial Park.

“When this phase is complete, we will be one giant step closer to fulfilling our economic dream,” said David Peterson, Chairman of the Barren County Economic Authority.

Officials say the site could bring an estimated 600 to 750 jobs to the area. That number could go up to 2,500 or more depending on the type of businesses that decides to locate there.

“We have a safe and effective entrance into the park. We will have two sites ready, totaling roughly 43 acres for our new industries,” said Peterson.

The widening and turn lane project of Highway 68 has also been awarded and will include an access road into the park. Utility installation including water, sewer, electric and gas are also underway. All this planning has prepared the park for this next step to include grading of roughly 43 acres. The anticipated $1,045,000 investment will provide two marketable sites.

“We’re two weeks ahead of schedule, folks. If we’re going to stay in the game, we have to always be two weeks ahead of schedule,” said Micheal Hale, Barren County Judge Executive.

Meanwhile, job growth in Barren County continues to flourish despite an ongoing pandemic.

“We actually had a record year in over a decade. We had about 554 new jobs that we announced. We are hoping to have some additional expansions announced later this year,” said Maureen Carpenter, Executive Director of the Barren County Economic Authority.

The growth is attributed to the number of people moving to the region.

“We’re seeing new residents come into the area from all over California, Ohio, New York. And so we’re really seeing a lot of growth,” explained Carpenter. “That really helps us when we’re trying to do economic development to make sure that we’re going to be able to fill those jobs when they come.”

An official timeline for the completion of this project is tentative, but it is anticipated that the sites will be ready within the next 100-days. The park is being marketed to a variety of potential industrial customers.

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