Instead Of Problem, Study Sees Depot As Economic Opportunity

Sep 4, 2013

Assuming they plan ahead, a new study says the local economy can thrive, even after the chemical weapons clean-up is complete at the Bluegrass Army Depot. Currently, hundreds of people are employed building the needed infrastructure.  Hundreds more will then go to work destroying the Depot’s chemical munitions.   The clean-up work could take a dozen years, and afterwards, Congressman Andy Barr says there could be rough times.

Congressman Andy Barr (center) looks on as study into Depot's economic potential is unveiled.
Credit Charles Compton / WEKU News

“There could be, without planning, major economic dislocation.  But because of this three-phase study, because of the effort, because of the planning, because of the willingness of this community and this partnership to do the hard work, we will avert a major economic dislocation.”

Barr was present as the first of three studies was released on the marketability of the clean-up’s workforce.  The first study show, with some planning, those employees and much of the developed land should be very attractive to new employers.

“We’ll capitalize on the assets that this demilitarization project is bringing to this community and specifically the highly skilled workforce and this incredible infrastructure that we have at the Bluegrass Army Depot,” said Barr.

Other studies will evaluate the project’s infrastructure, and develop a plan for its transition to the private sector.  Barr promised to help find the 400-thousand dollars needed for those studies.