Concerns after county buys land to create industrial park

MARSHALL COUNTY, KY – A promise of new jobs comes with a piece of land in the Local 6 area, but people who live nearby are worried new industry will cost them their quality of life. The Marshall County Fiscal Court plans to build an industrial park on the 300 acres along U.S. 641. It’s right across the highway from South Marshall Middle School.

No company has committed yet, but county leaders are hopeful the land’s location near major roadways, including the future Interstate 69, will draw new industry. But, that may also motivate some people to leave.

Tucked behind the busy highways is a home where the only traffic is “turn-around” traffic, and Keith Miller says it’s what he loves most about it. “We use it for the peace and quiet. Y0u can see my cash crop is leaves,” he says.

He’s lived there for 15 years, but now that an industrial park may sit right next to his home, he’s thinking about moving.

“Hopefully they’ll start on the far end and give us a few more years, but once we start seeing construction, we’re going to have to come up with a plan,” he says.

Building the new middle school brought more traffic to this area, the same as a new industrial park would. But Marshall County Judge Executive Kevin Neal hopes maybe they can put up a traffic light or establish a different entrance to the park to avoid more traffic.

Neal says it’s a project the county has worked on since before he took office. Now, he’s proud to start the process of bringing jobs to the area.

“There’s always that risk that no one will come if you build it, but we’re encouraged by other counties like Warren County, who said ‘We’re going to step out and do this,'” Neal says,.

Keith knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but it still may force him to pack up and move.

It is going to be a while before any ground is broken. The county has a three-year option on the land with the buyer. That will give them time to conduct tests, make sure there are not endangered wildlife there, and make other considerations before they build an industrial park.

Neal also says they are interested in creating an ordinance that would limit the kind of industry to go there. He says he knows they don’t want chemical industry, because there are already successful chemical plants in the area. They’re interested in an automotive manufacturing plant.

Neal says they plan to go to Washington, D.C., next week to talk to legislators about the future industrial site.

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