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Industrial Authority Forming Committee For Guidance On Future Of West Kentucky Megasite

Matt Markgraf

The board that oversees the West Kentucky Megasite in Graves County is forming a committee to meet with the state and legal counsel to better understand options moving forward. The Purchase Area Regional Industrial Authority board met on Friday. 

One option could involve selling the property, but any major transaction would need state approval, per grant stipulations. Other options involve developing the site or leaving it as is.

The 2,000 acre site was created 20 years ago with the intent of attracting a large manufacturer, but has not had a viable contract.

Board president Mark Manning has said the site is a “stranded asset” and has suggested revenue from a sale could be redistributed to regional counties to enhance local economic development projects.

More about the site from a recent interview with Manning.

Credit Matt Markgraf / WKMS
Josh Tubbs

Josh Tubbs of Marshall County put forward the motion to form a committee to learn more about what can and can't be done with the site. He said the site doesn't define the region. He noted it would be difficult convincing his judge/executive to invest in the regional site when the county is developing its own industrial site. 

Graves County board member Brent Shultz said the board’s goal was to develop the site. He and others discussed a philosophical change in the definition of regionalism. Gregg Pruitt of Hickman County said regionalism has been coming apart for at least the past 10 years and smaller counties lost the most because they count on success from the bigger players. 

Funds for the megasite project have thus far come from state and federal funding.

Members agreed to find legal direction and a regional solution.

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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