Stimulus money coming to The Point

Published 10:58 am Friday, March 27, 2009

SOUTH POINT — It is the stimulus package turning into jobs at home. That is how economic development leaders describe their getting $3.6 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Recipient of the funds will be The Point industrial park, owned and managed by the Lawrence Economic Development Corp. That will go toward covering the cost of the first phase of an Inter-Modal Transfer Facility, where product containers and other large items will move from truck to rail.

“Businesses who are looking to relocate, this is another added incentive, to have lower shipping costs in and out,” Jeremy Clay, industrial park director, said. “This will also ultimately open up the riverfront.”

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The inter-modal facility could bring at least 60 new jobs to Lawrence County, according to press release from the LEDC. Building the facility will mean up to 25 new construction jobs for a period of 12 to 18 months.

“Given a five job per acre projection, the additional 300 acres opened for business by this project would likely create up to another 100 jobs and hundred of millions in capital and business investments directly in due time,” the release states.

Businesses, not just who are located at the The Point, but in the area wanting to ship their product can use the transfer site.

“It is further positioning us as a center for manufacturing and product movement,” Dr. Bill Dingus, LEDC director, said. “When we talk about intermodal and the great strain on highways with trucking, industries will be looking for areas whereby they can get product by less expensive modes of transportation. Those industries will look to the Lawrence County region. Its impact will be very large. … It will have dramatic impact for any industry within an hour of the area.”

Part of the requirements for the money is that any project receiving funds be basically ready to begin. Work could start on phase one of the transfer facility in two to fourth months and be completed within 18 months, Dingus said.

The second phase will focus on developing a “high-end riverfront that can be used for loading and unloading container, heavy bulk product,” he said. “The third phase is tying it all together and developing storage warehouse.”