German automotive company cancels plan to build plant in Murray

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Reporter - Briana Conner
Photographer - Randall Barnes

CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. - 120 jobs are gone before they ever got here. It's a big disappointment for a local county that was going to become the home of a German automotive plant's U.S. Headquarters. The announcement came Tuesday that Kemmerich pulled out of the deal.

Back in January, Governor Steve Beshear came to Calloway County to announce Kemmerich was coming. The county agreed to build them a $6 million facility in Murray-West Industrial Park, but contract bids came in for double that amount. The county rounded up some additional state money and asked Kemmerich to provide assurances of repayment, but they never did. That's when the county and Kemmerich cut ties.

A group of shelves at the Murray Calloway Economic Development Corporation are like a trophy case showing different businesses and jobs the organization has helped bring to the community. But, there's one souvenir that no longer has a place. "As far as we're concerned it's ties cut, good bye." said MCEDC President Mark Manning.

Manning said the red flags went up when they couldn't figure out the financing. "They had so many very specialized things they put into the bid package that it drove the bid package way out of reach," he said. It wasn't long before he realized Kemmerich wasn't interested in moving Forward. "They were, perhaps not as quietly as they thought, looking around the U.S. for other locations that may agree to their conditions. At that point, we realized their commitment was no longer good and we canceled the project," Manning said.

Jon Pendergrass with The Murray Office of Employment and Training said the community may take a hit, but it won't be anything they can't bounce back from. "It is disappointing, but you know, we'll soldier on and do whatever's necessary to get people gainfully employed," said Pendergrass.

It's a let down on a deal Manning said was just too risky. Kemmerich was supposed to be the first facility built in the Murray-West Industrial Park. Manning said there is another project set to break ground there in the next two to three months.

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