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Maker's Mark Distillery and its parent company are considering building additional warehouses, and local officials are hoping as many as possible will be built in Marion County.
During the Feb. 7 meeting of the Marion County Industrial Foundation, Marion County Judge/Executive John G. Mattingly told the board that he'd met recently with Beam Global officials. The company is considering building new warehouses in Marion and Nelson counties.
Mattingly said local officials made a pitch to the company representatives based on the local tax rate, and the company representatives said they would get back to the county in a few weeks. County officials are negotiating with Beam Global to try to get as many warehouses built in Marion County as possible.
"Obviously we'd like to bring Maker's Mark expansion in Maker's Mark territory," Mattingly said in a phone interview.
Marion County Economic Development Director Tom Lund said the warehouses could mean a lot to the county, noting that it could provide some additional revenue for the school system (through property taxes).
In another educational matter, the Industrial Foundation had previously expressed an interest in finding a way for the Marion County Area Technology Center to move from under the authority of the Cabinet for Workforce Development to become part of the local school system.
Lund said they learned recently making the move would result in a funding cut for the tech center. The school district receives approximately $870,000 for technical education, Lund said, but the district would receive around $320,000 if the local board took over the tech school.
"The state, they're not going to make it easy for us to do anything here with technical education," he said.
Main Street Committee receives new requirements
Mary Lou Brock reported to the Industrial Foundation about changing state requirements for the Lebanon Main Street Committee.
Brock is the Lebanon Main Street manager, and she works out of the Marion County Economic Development Office. In order for the state to meet national requirements, they have to enforce minimum requirements for local committees, she explained.
Main Street committees will be expected to create a board with officers as well as four subcommittees that must also meet regularly.
"So you're being mandated to create a bureaucracy," foundation member George Spragens said.
Brock also said the local committee would need a budget of $40,000 based on Lebanon's size. Today, the budget is around $5,000, but by including in-kind donations, they could argue the total budget is more than $30,000.
Brock said she is concerned if the local committee doesn't meet the requirements then it may not be eligible for grant funding later. She added that they will need to create the committees this year to meet the state requirements.
In other business:
Marion County Economic Development Director Tom Lund reported that they are planning to meet with another prospective Japanese factory in March, and they are in discussions with an Indiana-based business that is looking to relocate. State officials are also working on a European project that could bring up to 1,000 jobs.
He added that many prospective companies are looking to be given land or a building as an incentive to locate in the community.