Industrial foundation reports on 2009

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By Stephen Lega

The Marion County Industrial Foundation presented its annual report Feb. 4 to the Marion County Fiscal Court and Feb. 8 to the Lebanon City Council.

According to the report, Marion County received good news in 2009 in spite of the down economy. Local industries Angell-Demmel, Curtis Maruyasu, Wilbert Custom Plastics and Summa Technology all announced plans to expand.

Not all the news was good, however. Rancho Poultry announced in 2008 that it planned to build a chicken processing plant in Lebanon. In 2009, Rancho Poultry officials announced that they had changed their plans.

In anticipation of the chicken plant, infrastructure work was completed, including water and sewer lines and access roads. Because of that work, the foundation plans to use the property to recruit another food processing business, according to Tom Lund, the industrial foundation manager.

The report notes that occupational taxes for Marion County and Lebanon combined topped $4 million in 2007 and 2008. The occupation taxes dipped below $4 million in 2009, but remain above $3.5 million.

The unemployment rate in Marion County remained above the state and national averages through December of 2009. The preliminary numbers for December show Marion County had an 11.8 percent unemployment rate, according to the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Statewide, the unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, and nationally, that figure was 10 percent in December.

The annual report also listed the foundation's goals for 2010, which included supporting existing industries, increasing employment opportunities in the county, working with legislators, supporting agriculture and supporting the advancement of Lebanon's education and training facilities.