Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Breaks Ground on Major Expansion for Dart Container Corporation in Hart County

Press Release Date:  Monday, October 23, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Governor also announces Renaissance on Main funding for the city of Munfordville

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher and Cabinet for Economic Development Commissioner J.R. Wilhite visited Hart County today to break ground on an industrial expansion for Dart Container Corporation.  Local and company representatives joined the Governor to celebrate the expansion, which will create 412 new jobs in the state.  

“The success and expansion of Kentucky’s existing businesses are important to the state’s overall economy,” said Governor Fletcher. “Dart Container Corporation is a prime example of this success, creating more than 400 new jobs for the citizens of the commonwealth.  I congratulate the company, the Cabinet for Economic Development and the Hart County community for making this project possible.”  

Dart Container Corporation manufactures disposable food service products including cups, plates, bowls and carry-out containers. The expansion project calls for the conversion of existing warehouse space into production space; the addition of a new production line; and the purchase of new equipment for the facility. Additionally, the company plans to construct a new 587,000 square-foot warehouse and distribution center.

“Dart Container is thankful and proud of the support from the local and state level now and over the past 27 years,” said Joe Lowry, facility manager for Dart Container. “Our greatest assets as a company and plant are the thoughts, skills and efforts of our people. The employees at the Dart-Horse Cave Plant have and continue to create jobs for Hart County and the surrounding counties by safely providing quality, value and service to our customers. Our people truly set the industry standard of excellence.” 

Prior to the expansion, Dart Container employed 897 people at its Horse Cave operation, which is located at 975 South Dixie Street.  The company also has a facility in Owensboro. This expansion will bring its total Kentucky employment base to more than 1,400. 

“The Dart Container family has been a stable employer for the past 25 years and we in Hart County are excited about the confidence they have in our citizens to expand their facility to employ new workers,” said Hart County Judge-Executive Terry Martin. “This expansion is further evidence that Hart County is a business-friendly county that is growing.  On behalf of the citizens of Hart County, we are pleased to make this announcement.  Governor Fletcher and his staff have really helped grow our business community.”

“Since its establishment in Horse Cave, Dart has always been a great corporate community partner,” said Horse Cave Mayor JoAnne Smith. “Besides providing much needed jobs for our community, Dart has also unselfishly given to many community projects. We are extremely pleased that the company continues to do well in our area and is rapidly expanding, providing many benefits for our city, county and region.  I heartily congratulate Dart and thank them for all they mean to our community."

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Dart Container Corporation for tax benefits up to $3.8 million under the Kentucky Industrial Development Act (KIDA), an incentive program for new and expanding manufacturing firms.  Additionally, the company received approval for up to $360,120 under the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA), Kentucky’s newest incentive program, which allows qualified companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax paid for construction materials and building fixtures.

Renaissance on Main funding

While in Hart County, Gov. Fletcher also announced Renaissance on Main funding for the city of Munfordville.  The $150,000 grant will be used for Phase II of the Munfordville Welcome Center and Office Complex Facility Renovation. 

Phase II will complete the Welcome Center project by finishing the renovation of the upstairs rooms for functional use as offices and meeting space.  Funds will also be used to ensure the entire facility is handicap accessible and to address a structural issue that came to light during Phase I. These office spaces will provide more opportunities for individuals participating in the Business Incubator program. This is the second grant from the Renaissance on Main that this project has received.  In 2005, the Welcome Center received a $75,000 Renaissance on Main grant for Phase I.

“The Renaissance on Main program has been instrumental in reviving the economy of Kentucky's downtown districts,” said Senator Carroll Gibson (R-Leitchfield) said. “This funding will be utilized to complete a project that will improve downtown Munfordville.”

“The landscape of downtown Munfordville has seen great improvements over the years thanks to Renaissance on Main funding,” said Representative Terry Shelton (R-Magnolia) noted. “I am pleased to see this trend continue.”

Renaissance on Main rewards communities that take steps to revitalize and maintain vibrant, economically sound development in Kentucky's downtown areas.  Partners for the Renaissance on Main program include the Kentucky Heritage Council/Main Street Program, the Kentucky Department of Tourism, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD), which administers this program.

A community profile for Hart County may be found at the following link:


The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2005 totaled more than $1.6 billion with the creation of over 16,700 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at