Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Ernie Fletcher Brings Funds for a Regional Exposition Center

Press Release Date:  Friday, August 12, 2005  
Contact Information:  Samantha Cook
Public Information Officer

             Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) presented a $12 million coal severance line-item for the city of Corbin today.  The funds, generated from House Bill (HB) 267, will be used to develop the Southeast Regional Agricultural and Exposition Center.  This center will be part of an existing complex which houses the Corbin Technology Center.

            "This new facility will allow opportunities for the area to attract big events and spur economic development with restaurants, hotels and other family-oriented activities,” said Governor Fletcher.  “This center will also give farmers a place to showcase their products."          

            The center is envisioned for use by Bell, Jackson, Laurel, Whitley, Knox, Harlan, Rockcastle, Pulaski, Clay, Leslie and McCreary counties as a tool for economic development and tourism.  It is designed to be a multi-purpose center to be used for workforce development, concerts, agriculture show and other activities.  HB 267 is comprised of coal severance line-items which are appropriated by the legislature and signed into effect by the governor.

            Senate President David Williams, who represents the 16th Senate District, said, "I was proud to sponsor the Senate budget amendment which provided the $12 million to finish the Southeastern Regional Agriculture and Exposition Center.  This appropriation on top of the previously funded $6 million for the tech center will assure the construction of a world-class facility."

            Currently, a feasibility study is underway to see how many seats the center will hold as well as its total expected economic impact.  The center is expected to seat between 5,000 to 8,000 people.  It is expected to break ground in spring or summer 2006.  The total project is expected to take approximately 18 months.

            "The center will be a tremendous boost to the area, not only impacting Knox and Whitley counties but the whole southeast region,” noted Senator Robert Stivers, who represents Senate District 25.

            Governor Fletcher presented the funds to Corbin Mayor Amos Miller on Friday, August 12, at the Corbin Technology Center.  Several legislators from the region were also in attendance.