Potential industries could receive incentives to locate in secluded areas like Salt Peter Cave Road near Breeding, but those incentives won’t apply for job creators at the commerce park or other commercial areas within the county.
Surrounding counties received Opportunity Zone status for areas that include industrial parks and other site development infrastructure already established.
While Adair County requested the designation for areas designated for economic growth, that didn’t happen.
“We are looking at this and we are asking why our district was singled out,” says County Judge Executive Michael Lee Stephens. “We are going back to the state and we are asking why but can we get anything done? I don’t think so but we will continued to try.”
In February, Gov. Bevin’s office and the Economic Development Cabinet sent out invitations to all counties encouraging local government officials to submit applications for Opportunity Zones in communities that would be considered as low-income based off of recent census tracts.
Adair County submitted three potential zones, but none of the submitted zones were selected.
Instead, Adair received a zone in the southwestern part of the county covering the Gradyville and Breeding area; an area that has virtually no infrastructure readily available for industrial development. The area was designated by Gov. Bevin and the Economic Development Cabinet.
It is unknown at this time why several counties surrounding Adair received their top choice or their second top choice while Adair did not.
The Community Voice made several attempts to speak with officials at the Economic Development Cabinet but calls and emails were not returned as of presstime.
Adair’s first choice on the application included the industrial park on north Hwy. 55 where there are plans for a pad-ready development site and includes 290 available acres with water, sewer, gas, electric and WIFI readily available.
Adair’s second choice included the area of “new Columbia” and would have included the Pinewood Shopping Center and lands located around Walmart near the west interchange of the Cumberland Parkway.
Adair’s third choice would have included the northeast section of the county that would have included the area of Knifley and surrounding communities.
Russell, Casey, Taylor, Cumberland and Green counties all submitted three potential zones and all received their first choice as submitted on the application except for Cumberland County, who received its second choice.
Russell County’s zone will include an industrial park off of French Valley Road. Taylor County’s zone will include the Heartland Commerce and Technology Park off of south Hwy. 55. Green County’s zone will include the city of Greensburg as well as an industrial park. Cumberland County’s zone includes everything north of the Cumberland River, including Burkesville and the entire northern half of the county. Casey County’s zone will include a 15-acre site that has been considered for development as an industrial park.
Earlier this month, Gov. Bevin announced the 144 “Opportunity Zones” in 84 Kentucky counties under a program that aims to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities.
The “Opportunity Zone” designation offers significant federal tax breaks and deferrals to entities and individuals investing in Opportunity Funds, which support development projects within one or more zones.
By Adam Capps
Designated Opportunity Zones Map—-Adair County applied for areas 970402 (N. Hwy 55 Industrial Park), 970401 (Pinewood Shopping Center/Walmart area), and 970100 (Knifley area). Adair’s Opportunity Zone was designated in the 970500 area that would include Breeding and Gradyville located in an area of the county lacking attractive elements for future prospective businesses like pad-ready development sites.