Meade County breaks ground on new terminal for barge company
BRANDENBURG, Ky. (WDRB) -- After years of legal and political wrangling, Meade County finally has a tenant for its new riverport. And local officials hope the economic boost will have been worth the effort.
It's been a decade in the making, but Meade Co. finally broke ground on what it hopes will be an economic engine.
Bad weather moved the groundbreaking indoors. But it did not take away from the celebration.
"Nothing was going to keep me from coming here today and celebrating with you, I think, something major," said Gov. Steve Beshear.
It's a major new industry for this area. The Consolidated Grain and Barge Company (CGB) is building a terminal similar to its facility in Jeffersonville to buy, store, and ship grain. It will be the first tenant for Meade County's new riverport.
"It's just the beginning of wonderful growth for this part of Kentucky," said Joe Wright of the Meade Co. Riverport Authority.
The terminal will provide a new outlet for farmers like Larry Thomas, and make it easier and less expensive to ship grain.
"They will have to compete with the Owensboro area on prices, so we look for better prices over here, plus the fuel savings that we have when we come over here will be big plus for us," said Thomas.
While the terminal will only employ about a half dozen workers, it's expected to attract other businesses to the port.
"You won't recognize this place in ten years because I think it will bring so many other things. together for the community," said Mark St. Clair of CGB.
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says the benefit will extend throughout the state.
"For us to be able to export more Kentucky farm products, we're going to have to utilize this riverport project. It's going to make a huge impact over the next ten years," he said.
But it did not come easy. There has been years of political and legal fighting over how to fund the $11-and-a-half million project.
"We resolved all the issues that different interest groups had, and we've been able to get to this point today. Good things are going to happen now," said Wright.
Consolidated expects to open the new terminal by next fall.
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