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Bell Fiscal Court: “Game changer” for Middlesboro making armor for US Army and bringing new jobs

From WRIL -

During the monthly Bell County Fiscal Court meeting on Tuesday, August 10, 2022,one agenda item led to the announcement of a project that will bring several jobs to Middlesboro.

The item before the court was the approval and adoption of a resolution authorizing the filing of a Kentucky House Bill Project Grant Application for up to $5,000,000 in Community Development Project Funds with the Department for Local Government. This filing would permit Judge Executive Albey Brock to execute any documents deemed necessary by the DLG to carry out the project. Judge Brock would also act as the authorized correspondent for the project.

Judge Brock went on to explain and announce that the project, in the works for almost six years, would be a new business coming to Middlesboro built on the old tannery property. The business, working to produce hard armor for the United States Army, is called Flash Steelworks with a headquarters in Michigan.

To make this happen, $10,000,000 was put into the Department of Defense budget for the project with $5,000,000 secured in the state budget. Currently no local tax dollars have been spent on the setup and bidding on the project will begin September 1, 2022.

According to Brock, with the assistance of Congressman Hal Rogers and Senator Mitch McConnel, the company will be constructing a 35,000 sq. ft building on the property with railway infrastructure for moving freight to and from the area. This is expected to bring 75-100 well-paying jobs to Middlesboro according to Brock. He also stated that he is expecting several other industries that will want to locate close to this product.

Mayor Rick nelson tells us that: “this is good news for Middlesboro, we look forward to what lies ahead for the city and for our county as a result of these jobs coming into our area." Nelson also thanked Governor Andy Beshear, Congressman Hal Rogers, and Senator Mitch McConnell for their support, but he gave a big thank you to Judge Executive Brock for sticking with the project to the betterment of the citizens of Middlesboro and Bell County.

Groundbreaking on the project was supposed to take place a few weeks ago, but due to recent flooding it was postponed. Expected groundbreaking is weeks away and construction is expected to begin this year.

The measure was passed unanimously.

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