WURTLAND Gov. Matt Bevin will announce an economic development project that will impact northeastern Kentucky on Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the McConnell House.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has also called a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to consider incentives for a project in Greenup County. According to multiple sources, the project involves opening an aluminum plant in Greenup County.
Local and state officials were tight-lipped Wednesday on whether the announcement in Greenup County is related to an unspecified, large-scale economic development project in eastern Kentucky currently in the works.
On the final day of the legislative session, state lawmakers agreed to let Bevin borrow up to $15 million in bonds as part of a "mystery" project in eastern Kentucky. Bevin told lawmakers the company would invest up to $1.3 billion and create 500 jobs with an average salary of $75,000 per year. It passed without a dissenting vote.
Last week, Bevin spoke with The Daily Independent during his tour of Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland. The governor did not provide further details about the economic development project, such as location or a company name, citing a non-disclosure agreement.
He did say he expected an announcement involving the project in the "not-so-distant future," and that it would "“have a ripple effect throughout eastern Kentucky and, frankly, throughout this region of the country."
Northeastern Kentucky is still reeling from the ripple effects of the decline of the coal industry. Last year, CSX shed 101 jobs at its facility in Russell, citing a decrease in coal movement and overall diminishing traffic by rail.
In 2015, AK Steel laid off 633 workers at its Ashland mill in Ashland, which was one of the top job providers in the region for decades along with the departed Ashland Oil. The mill now employs about 200 workers while the layoff status remains in effect.
Further details about the economic development announcement in Greenup County will be revealed on Wednesday. Representatives of the Ashland Alliance and officials in Greenup County plan on attending.
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