Owen County continues to grow - Guest Editorial By Frank Downing

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By The Staff

Owen County may not share the doom and gloom stories that we hear from some areas of our county and really worldwide.

We should be very thankful here in Owen County with the many projects that are under way or have been recently completed.

Some of these include the Kentucky-American Water treatment facility on the Kentucky River which costs approximately $163 million; the courthouse, $11.2 million (the land-purchase plans are nearing completion); Highway 22 from the high school to Highway 845 (right of way and utilities), this year, $5.5 million; new Gratz bridge over the Kentucky River, $14 million; new medical clinic, $2.5 million; preliminary plans for a new hospital, $30 million; new middle school, $20 million; First Christian Church addition, $500,000; phase one and two of the natural-gas  project, $5.6 million (completed); phase three for the remainder of the city, $1.2 million, is awaiting funding; Elk Creek Winery, $2.5 million; Elk Creek U.S. Open Clay Shooting Championship (June 23-28) with an expected 1,200 shooters, national and international, along with some families; the new tomato processing plant with Halloween Express that will bring 34 new jobs plus another crop for Owen County farmers; possible state boat dock on state property when the old Gratz Bridge is removed; the quilt trail by the Owen County Homemakers; the purchase of Actaris by Itron, an American company with 240 employees; two antique shops, in Gratz and Sweet Owen; as well as other new shops and restaurants.

We would like to thank the many Owen County people who have continued to make an investment in the county as well as our elected city and county officials and most important – Royce Adams, our state representative, and Damon Thayer, our state senator, who gave the push for state projects.

We should be thankful for the many projects under way that will make our county a better place to live and provide jobs for our people.

Frank K. Downing is the executive director of the of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce.