• 75°

Groundbreaking starts 1st phase at The Point

SOUTH POINT — The speeches were barely over before the backhoe started digging into the first phase of what many believe will resurrect the industrial jobs sector in the Tri-State.

Tuesday afternoon officials from local, state and federal branches of government joined members of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp. for the groundbreaking of the intermodal project at The Point industrial park.

Speaking via a phone link from Washington, D.C. Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio, called the groundbreaking “exciting because of the construction jobs and permanent jobs it will hopefully create for a better future.”

This initial segment of a long-term multi-million dollar project will bring a container load out facility to the industrial park. The 100 by 450 foot concrete platform will accommodate 30 rail cars to bring product in and out. Cost for the project is $2.4 million with an additional $1.2 million for a roadway to the river.

This will enable manufacturers from inside and outside the county to transport their products through The Point.

The overall goal for the industrial park is to transform it into a conduit for shipping product via river, road and rail.

“This is a great day for South Point,” Carl Grover, president of Engines Inc. of Ohio, told the audience. “This will enhance my business.”

Grover, who deals with international customers including those in China and Australia, relocated to The Point five years ago and now has 100 on his payroll.

“We need to get our hands dirty again and manufacture again,” he said. “We need to get back to our roots and start exporting again. This is an investment in the future.”

The only sad note to the day was the single chrome shovel standing in the dirt away from the nine gold shovels used in the afternoon’s groundbreaking.

That shovel was used to mark the loss of South Point Mayor Bob Armstrong, who died suddenly Monday afternoon.

Armstrong was lauded for his dedication to his home village and his partnership and support of the work of the LEDC.