Drane addresses county on grants, funding at fiscal court meeting


Graves County Economic Development president Ryan Drane addressed the Graves County Fiscal Court during its regular meeting Monday about grants that have been awarded and also recommended the court approve a resolution regarding TVA funding.

Drane began by talking about the GenCanna hemp processing facility and said an application to the Kentucky Department of Local Government for a $1 million community development block grant (CDBG) was awarded to the fiscal court. He explained that grant funding then went to GCED for the purchase of equipment, which GenCanna would then lease.

The CDBG money, once repaid by GenCanna, would then be reutilized on other economic development efforts. Similar funds have been used to purchase the former Remington building and fund spec building projects.

Drane said the agreement with GenCanna is over five years. "So we'll get that money back pretty quick," he told the court. "It's a big win for the community."

Regarding a resolution for the designation of the Industrial Authority of Mayfield-Graves County to receive Tennessee Valley Authority funding for the 2020 fiscal year, Drane said the funds would be approximately double the amount awarded for 2019.

The 2019 funds of just over $51,000 were awarded to the fiscal court and passed to the industrial authority to use for a spec building. Drane said funding would be more than $100,000 for 2020.

"The plan is next year that will increase to around $150,000 per community that's served by TVA for use for economic development purposes," he said. "We're really happy for this. We've lobbied for 5-6 years for this to happen."

"TVA money's been a real shot in the arm," said county commissioner Richie Galloway.

The resolution passed unanimously following a motion by commissioner Tyler Goodman and Galloway's second.

Drane also noted the Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization (PACRO) had approved a fiscal court request for $200,000 to utilize for a 100,000 square foot spec building to be built at the Hickory Industrial Park. He said those funds should be released this week.

Along with the Hickory Industrial Park work, he added that a 30,000-square-foot spec building will see construction get underway in the next month or so at the Grace Commercial Park off U.S. 45 North.

"Just in this fiscal year, that's $1.25 million we'll bring in for economic development, and a lot of that we'll be able to recycle in other projects and we intend to revolve that," Drane said.

The fiscal court also approved the first reading of a tax increment financing (TIF) district at Grace Commercial Park. TIFs are typically used for redevelopment, infrastructure and other improvement projects.

Also passed was the first reading for an amendment to Graves County's transient room tax. Earlier this summer, Mayfield-Graves County Tourism Director Cynthia Elder had requested the court to remove a portion of the regulation that does not require a levy to be paid when guests at local hotels stay more than 30 days.

The court also reviewed and approved the July 5-Aug. 8, 2019, fiscal court financial statement with a $689,490.75 general fund balance, a $317,037.35 jail balance, a $252,422.64 road department balance, and $7,517.49 emergency management balance.

Also reviewed and approved were the Graves County Clerk's second quarter 2019 report of a $576,367.52 balance; a zero balance for the 2018 Graves County Sheriff's franchise tax settlement and $6.37 sheriff's 2018 property tax settlement; and Graves County Jail housing reports from April, May and June 2019.

Reviews of the jail's canteen account for that same time period were tabled. Jailer George Workman was not in attendance at the meeting Monday.

In new business, county attorney John Cunningham addressed the court on the "Rocket Docket" program's success.

Prior to adjourning, the fiscal court went into executive session to discuss property and personnel. No action was taken regarding personnel, but the court approved appraising discussed property.

Eric Walker is the news editor for The Mayfield Messenger. He has also worked as a staff writer for the Messenger, editor for the Murray Ledger & Times, and in public relations. He is married with two sons.