• 41°

State adds #036;1 million to development pot

State officials have moved a much-talked-about local economic development project a little farther along, committing dollars to employment efforts.

Saturday, November 04, 2000

State officials have moved a much-talked-about local economic development project a little farther along, committing dollars to employment efforts.

Lawrence County commissioners announced at Thursday’s regular meeting that the state intends to provide $1 million in funding, if the project succeeds.

The news came in a letter to the commission from Buddy Martin, director of the county’s Department of Job and Family Services. The letter informed commissioners that Martin had requested funds from the state’s Temporary Assistance for the Needy Families program.

The letter stated the application was subsequent to several that the county commissioners and the City of Ironton have been discussing regarding employment for the area.

Martin made the state request to urge economic development support of a possible employer facing expansion and/or new construction, his letter to the commission said.

State officials responded to Martin’s request by committing $1 million to the project to assist both the employer and local job seekers in exchange for the employer locating in Lawrence County, the letter said.

Commissioner George Patterson said the money could be used to help pay 50 percent of the wages for new employees for up to 12 weeks, provided the unnamed company adds more jobs in the area.

Several weeks ago, commissioners committed about $260,000 to current economic development efforts by the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation and the city. Later, they authorized the LEDC to issue up to $1.75 million in industrial revenue bonds.

Ironton City Council has also taken action in connection with the project and has passed a resolution giving support to the economic development efforts.

The city will acquire real estate that is needed for economic development by means of private sale or through eminent domain, the resolution stated.

The resolution also allows the city to aid economic development efforts financially, but no amount has been named.

City officials called it the largest economic development in the city’s history.

Neither government agency will release details, citing the potential employer’s request to keep matters confidential because of competitiveness reasons.

Patterson said Martin’s efforts to secure state funding for the project was appreciated.

"For Buddy to be able to reach out and get this kind of money is sure appreciated," he said. "His efforts make the expansion project we’ve been working on a little more attractive."