Economy boost brewing in Fort Knox and surrounding counties

Published: Oct. 13, 2016 at 4:27 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2016 at 5:14 PM EDT
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ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Millions of dollars and brand new jobs are brewing near Fort Knox and surrounding communities.A capital campaign, spearheaded by Knox Regional Development Alliance, is raising money to fund an economic development initiative. Today, private and public sector leaders from throughout Hardin, Meade, LaRue, Bullitt and Jefferson Counties publicly launched the $2.5 million capital campaign. The money will fund KRDA's advocacy, marketing and targeted business attraction activities.

The KRDA is the result of a merger of the CORE Committee, Inc. and the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce's On Knox Council. CORE Committee's executive director retired Maj. Gen. Bill Barron shared why an effort of this scale and a new organization is needed.

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"While we've long advocated for missions at Fort Knox, it was never on the scale that other successful military communities had," Barron said. "It's time we go from a 'C' game to an 'A' game to set the conditions for growth at Fort Knox and new business growth in the surrounding communities."

At the launch event, Barron introduced the campaign's co-chairs: Dennis Johnson, President and CEO of Hardin Memorial Health and Ray Springsteen, President and CEO of Fort Knox Federal Credit Union.

"It is about quality of place here and it is also really about taking a proactive approach at helping Fort Knox and the surrounding community," Springsteen said.

"This means jobs, it means good quality of life for individuals and for families and for organizations," Johnson said. "We want to not only preserve what has happened here as a result of Fort Knox, but also grow that into the future."

Both organizations have pledged $240,000 over five years. Their investment, along with 42 other public and private sector investors, have raised more than $1.5 million. The City of Radcliff has pledged $125,000 over five years and Meade County has pledged $75,000 over five years.

KRDA has raised more than half of its goal. The group continues to look for public and private investors, to help raise the remaining $1 million.

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