ERIDA receives grant, prepares for economic development projects

The Eddyville Riverport Industrial Development Authority is preparing their site pad at the Eddyville Industrial Park. The Build Ready Pad project will encompass five to six acres of undeveloped land at the park. ERIDA board members anticipate breaking ground in six to eight months.

The Eddyville Riverport Industrial and Development Authority, (ERIDA), is preparing to begin its first site pad project, which will be located at the Eddyville Industrial Park. ERIDA is also the recipient of a riverport grant.

ERIDA is undertaking several new projects and working to close out others, said Glen Kinder, ERIDA’s treasurer.

“We’re making a capital investment to partner with Mr. (Bobby) Bowers and enter into a long-term lease to support his business expansion,” Kinder said.

Bowers is the owner of BGB Trucking Inc., a company operating at the park.

A long-term lease negotiation ended up being suitable for both parties. The agreement entails ERIDA constructing parking space for BGB and leasing the designated area to BGB for such purposes, Kinder said.

Kinder presented the Build Ready Pad project to the Eddyville City Council last month. He brought forth a resolution of support to be considered by the council, which was approved.

The approximate cost of the project is $150,000. ERIDA has committed half — $75,000 — in matching funds for the project. The grant application will be submitted to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA), Kinder said.

The site pad where the project will be established is roughly five to six acres in size. Kinder noted that ERIDA currently owns more than 100 acres of undeveloped land at the park.

“We don’t want to commit ourselves to a minimum square-foot or maximum square-foot. We want to work with businesses to be able to put their footprint onto their piece of property,” Kinder said.

Although other businesses at the park have access to a lift station, electricity, broadband internet, and other utilities, the site pad is underdeveloped.

ERIDA would be looking to partner with Bacon Farmer Workman for engineering expertise and services — a relationship that has strengthened over the years.

“We want to try to make sure that this is a site that is presentable,” Kinder said. “And the other important part that we would be doing is working to get utilities closer to the site.”

Kinder said clients interested in moving their business to the park are encouraged to take advantage of the rail-serve site at the park; the park boasts a rail connection to the Paducah & Louisville Railway.

Kinder added ERIDA and its board of directors are uniquely charged with economic development in Lyon County and the Lake Barkley region.

Not only does ERIDA control their parcel at the riverport, but the industrial park in Eddyville is a separate component for ERIDA to manage and administer.

“I believe that also gives us the flexibility to work with both sets of land, and support economic development for our community,” Kinder said, adding timber removal and environmental studies are the preliminary steps in the project timeline.

The recent award to ERIDA for riverport infrastructure improvements requires the project to be completed by June 30, 2022.

On July 15, Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet awarded five riverport authorities $500,000 in grants to improve riverport infrastructure.

ERIDA was awarded $126,500 — to be matched — to repair the riverport’s main loading dock, according to Beshear’s announcement.

Damage from corrosion of steel components will be repaired. Funding will also improve safety and mitigate deterioration.

The riverport’s main loading dock project involves replacing dock tieback rods, whalers, steel plates, concrete fenders, and grout.