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Nucor revenue bonds: economic development or corporate welfare?

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Meade County KY News, LLC.



Chad Hobbs:

Messenger Staff


At the October Fiscal Court meeting, all eyes were on the large group of farmers who had descended upon the court house. Most of the meeting focused around discussions between those farmers, a lawyer the group had retained, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Commissioner Erran Presley, and members of the fiscal court. In hindsight one may wonder, though, did the state commissioner, State Representative Nancy Tate and even Industrial Development Authority chairman David Pace come to the meeting that night because word had got out about the farmers coming with a lawyer or did it have more to do with making sure nothing stood in the way of a resolution being read and passed that went all but unnoticed, as CGB’s lease being bought out took center stage. Frankfort is a long drive just to debate with some farmers at a meeting where nothing could change regardless of what was said.

The reading of an resolution may seem like a minor issue to drive that far for also, but it wasn’t just any resolution that was read that night, even though it was portrayed that way. Resolution 2019.10.1 was read by the county attorney and then she explained that it “was a resolution that Nucor has asked us to pass.” She went on to say that the state was going to issue bonds and the county had to pass this before they could do that. Attendees were told the bonds wouldn’t count against the county’s credit, a man was introduced as a bond council and it was asked if anyone had any questions. There was silence. Judge Gerry Lynn then asked if anyone had any questions and with none raised, asked for a motion to accept the resolution. With that being satisfied, Lynn opened the floor for questions or concerns and with still none, quickly moved to a vote that passed unanimously. According to the time stamp, it took just over a minute and a half of the long meeting to set in motion what those government officials were really there for that night. Talking to the farmers was just the smoke screen for what the commissioner was really there for; making sure no one stood in the way of that revenue bond resolution passing. In that regard, the meeting was anti climatic at best.

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