Fast growth in Elizabethtown, Hardin County - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fast growth in Elizabethtown, Hardin County

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HARDIN COUNTY, KY. (WDRB) -- Take a guess which was the fastest growing metro area in the entire country last year.  If you said Elizabethtown and Hardin County, you'd be correct.

You can thank Fort Knox for the dramatic growth there.

Brad and Sandy Genet moved to Hardin County from St. Louis last fall after building a new house.  "Love the rural area," Brad Genet says, "trees in the backyard, something we don't see a lot in St. Louis."

They are among the thousands of people who are now living there as a result of BRAC -- Base Realignment and Closure.  Brad works for a private contractor at Fort Knox in the Army's new Human Resources Center.

New hotels have opened, and schools are being expanded to make room for new students.  The owner of one new restaurant that opened about a month ago says he's here because of BRAC.

Doug Landers explains, "Radcliff was not on the radar screen when I started looking a few years ago, but it quickly got on the radar screen when I heard more about the military brass and BRAC and the changes over here."

Since he opened Colton's Steakhouse, it has been filled with Fort Knox workers who are often easy to spot:  "There has been tremendous changes with Fort Knox.  It's now the Human Resources Center for the entire Army and with that, this made it an obvious choice for us to come."

While the nationwide economy continues to flounder ,according to the U.S. Commerce Department, in 2010 the area's economy grew by an astounding 14 percent.

Brad Richardson of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce says, "I think it is recession proof -- what recession in Hardin County?"

The growth there is expected to continue indefinitely.  Richardson says, "It's somewhere in the range of 4500 to 5,000 new jobs, military-civilian contractors plus spinoff."

Sandy Genet says there is only one thing missing:  "There is no big mall.  You have to go to Louisville to get that."

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