A highway connector project just completed in central Kentucky could boost industrial opportunities for Jackson and neighboring counties.
A dedication is planned Friday for the last leg of the modified Kentucky Highway 30. Jackson County Judge Executive William Smith says the county's industrial park could be one beneficiary. "The industrial park is located in the vicinity of the new road and that's gonna provide the heavy traffic with a better access to our industrial park and so forth. It's not just a benefit to Jackson County, but it's a benefit to the entire region," said Smith.
Jackson County-McKee Industrial Development Authority Director Mitchell Ball says employment has declined significantly at the industrial park since the mid 1990's. "And the peak in the mid 90's, we employed among five or six different industries, over a thousand people. Currently, we're probably about as low as we've been," said Ball.
Ball says less than 100 people currently work at the Jackson Industrial Complex. He says a fire in 2005 virtually wiped out the Mid-South Electric operation, which employed 800 people.
Ball says the recession impact has also been felt. The IDA director hopes enhanced access to I-75 will catch the eye of prospective industrial clients.