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PACRO Official: "Matter of a Few Months" Before Agreement Is Reached for PGDP Site

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The director of the Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization, or PACRO, says negotiations are going well between the U.S. Department of Energy and General Electric-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment for use of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site.

Charlie Martin said the two parties have had multiple meetings in Lexington, Ky. and Washington D.C. since beginning negotiations in November and thinks an agreement will be reached soon.

"We've been led to believe that in a matter of a few months, they would reach an agreement with D.O.E. through a contract or agreement on how to move forward with utilizing those depleted uranium assets here in Paducah," Martin said.

“They’re a large company," Martin said of G.E. "All the companies involved with that corporation are large companies. Their presence here in Paducah would have lasting positive impacts for a long time.”

Martin expressed his optimism at Wednesday’s meeting of the PACRO executive committee. There, Martin also announced that by Saturday more than $265 million could be approved by Congress for clean-up at the PGDP site - an increase of more than $100 million over what the federal government has been spending at the site.

Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler said the additional funding will be a boon for the city.

“The main thing it will do is it will employ a lot of those people that have been laid off as well as new employees that can work out there," Kaler said.  "So it will create more jobs as well as do the clean-up at the site.”

John Null is the host and creator of Left of the Dial. From 2013-2016, he also served as a reporter in the WKMS newsroom.
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