The Harlan County Economic Development Authority discussed a recent conference held in Pikeville by the Kentucky Association Economic Development.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley attended the conference, and advised the panel on some of the information he found there.
Mosley told the Authority both he and Assistant Judge-Executive Colby Goss attended the conference.
“It seems like every time you go (to Pikeville) you can see something different from an economic development perspective,” Mosley said. “We got a chance to speak to Donovan Blackburn, the city manager of Pikeville. We spent about two hours with him…he gave us some thoughts and some ideas on how they’ve implemented certain things and what the city has had to do.”
Mosley said he was impressed by a representative from Insight Consulting who spoke at the conference. The consultant touched on several areas of economic development, including industrial parks and websites.
“I’d recommend that each of you — at some point before the next meeting — Google them and take a look,” said Mosley. “They went around and evaluated all of the industrial park sites in the nine county east Kentucky service area and made some blunt recommendations and brought some stark realities into the mix on what needed to be done.”
Mosley said the consultant explained that in order to have a successful industrial park each site in the park should be 30 acres.
“You start thinking about industrial park locations for Harlan County and it’s hard to find a site that’s 30 acres of flat land period,” Mosley said. “Trying to have a 10 site park, you’re talking 300 acres of flat land.”
Mosley suggested looking into using such a consulting firm for Harlan.
“That’s something that needs to be explored,” Mosley said.
Mosley also talked about the prospect of starting and maintaining a website for economic development purposes.
“The old saying goes it’s better to have no website than a bad one,” Mosley said. “Well, we don’t have one, other than just our properties listed on Statebook. At some point, that’s something we really need to do…we need to develop a website that is top notch.”
Mosley said a website could be modeled after successful sites already in use.
“You can look at a site and tell if it’s successful or not,” Mosley said. “But I think it needs to be the most professional website of any associated with Harlan County. I think it has to be.”
Mosley said he would like to see the EDA move forward on building a website soon.
A motion was made and passed to pursue the development of a website.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter at joe_hde