Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

May 16, 2014

IDEA approves strategic plans, Spec building, $50K for WKU- SiTEL partnership among priorities

GLASGOW — The Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority board approved three significant items Friday morning – a plan for a speculative building, IDEA’s strategic plan and a request for $50,000 to help establish a training and education partnership between Western Kentucky University’s Glasgow campus and SiTEL.

IDEA Executive Director Dan Iacconi said the spec building, which will be built in the Highland Glen Industrial Park, is the same basic design that has been used to attract industries to the Kentucky Transpark in Warren County.

“This technique has been used very effectively in Bowling Green, and I mean very effectively,” he said at the board’s regular meeting. “This is the exact building they have used at the transpark. It’s different from the one we put up prior in the industrial park.”

The primary differences between the planned building and Glasgow’s previous one are the ceiling height and storefront-style windows that allow in natural light. The new building will also be closer to the road than the first spec building, Iacconi said.

The building will be 80,000 square feet, with the ability to expand an additional 40,000 square feet – similar to the first spec building, which is now occupied by Fortis Manufacturing.

“The issue that I have now (is) I had that platted out ... on Lot 3,” Iacconi said. “I have a prospective client coming in here in a few weeks that’s looking at Lot 3.”

Lot 3 is adjacent to Fortis Manufacturing.

A recommendation was made to move the spec building closer to the cul-de-sac of the industrial park and to divide the lot there.

Board member Scott Young asked whether those lots are pad ready, and Iacconi said yes.

The board later went into closed session to discuss the bid process for constructing the spec building. The board returned to open session and granted approval for Iacconi and board attorney Rich Alexander to move forward in developing a bid packet.

Before the closed session, the board also approved IDEA’s strategic priorities, which were developed from a strategic planning meeting in March. The list includes timeframes for completion of the priorities.

“Obviously, all those initiatives don’t have specific dates,” board chair Owen Lambert said. “There are some things that are important to us and have been ongoing for a long time and will continue to be ongoing. There are other things that are important to us, but have much less attention and may not be our highest impact initiative. Dan and I have reviewed this together, but the proposed dates are all my work.

“The ones with specific dates are the things that I personally thought were our highest impact, easiest things to make improvement.”

Topping the nine-item list is the liquidation of excess real estate holdings, with a target date of July 31. Karisa Peterson, president of the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce and a non-voting IDEA board member, asked whether that goal is a little aggressive.

“I personally meant for it to be,” Lambert said, explaining that the selling of real estate to help fund IDEA has been discussed for many years, but has not yet been done.

Board member Jim Lee said, “You are saying there is a plan in place for who would handle those auctions?”

“We would have to bid that process,” Lambert said.

The board approved the priorities with the dates as presented to allow Lambert to appoint board members to take the lead on each item.

The board also approved spending $50,000 to develop the infrastructure for an education and training program between WKU-Glasgow and SiTEL, a customer-service call center located near WKU-Glasgow on Hilltopper Way. At a previous special-called meeting, WKU Regional Chancellor Sally Ray said the cooperative relationship between WKU-Glasgow and SiTEL will be modeled after Metropolitan College, a program used by United Parcel Service in Louisville.

“I just need this board to approve $50,000 to move forward with this program,” Iacconi said. “I want this program in place to help our youth.”

Iacconi said the program offers multiple benefits.

“I think we will be helping our entire industrial, business and service sector and heath care base … because you are going to be developing individuals … in their organizations,” he said. “Second, you are going to be educating our youth to have jobs here … in our home area, instead of having to get their education and leave the area.

“Third, you are actually going to be helping their family out, because these all work with tax credits and things … that’s going to help parents pay for some education.”

Board member Charlie Campbell asked where SiTEL stands on the project.

“I am going to be calling right after this board votes. I need to make a conference call with these people if we’ve got this money approved,” Iacconi said.

Election of officers will take place at the board’s next meeting in June, when the board should also have a budget submission ready for approval, Lambert said.

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