FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday, after nearly five years, the city of Auburn and Logan County Fiscal Court officially broke ground on the Auburn wastewater treatment plant expansion. The upgrades will better serve Champion Petfoods USA Inc. (CPUSA) and will make Auburn more attractive to future investors.
Using a $1.5 million Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) from the Department for Local Government (DLG), the plant expansion will provide the first updates to the plant in roughly 30 years. The upgrade will encourage greater economic growth, residential expansion and industry development in the area.
“There is no more important time to encourage economic development projects across the commonwealth,” said Beshear. “As we work to rebuild our economy while continuing to keep Kentuckians safe from COVID-19, we must continue to invest in our infrastructure to make our communities even more attractive to future investors.”
“Wastewater treatment plant capacity is an important factor in economic development,” said DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene. “Without sufficient capacity, investment opportunities for businesses are limited. Thanks to these upgrades, we believe Auburn will see greater economic investment and expansion opportunities for years to come.”
Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes explained this project will eliminate barriers to further economic development in the area.
“Our community has robust utilities from water supply to natural gas, but we are lacking when it comes to our wastewater treatment plant capacity,” said Mayor Hughes. “This project will help alleviate that problem and allow for greater economic development, well-paying jobs, new residential growth and more investment in the future of our community.”
Logan County Judge/Executive Logan Chick expressed gratitude for the funding.
“I want to thank the Department for Local Government for working with us on this process and it will mean a lot for Logan County and the City of Auburn,” said Judge/Executive Chick. “Auburn has the potential to expand and bring greater economic development to the surrounding areas and this is the first step in that expansion.”
Logan Economic Alliance for Development Executive Director Tom Harned discussed the importance of strong infrastructure when improving economic opportunity.
“Anytime that we can improve the infrastructure in Logan County that is certainly a good thing,” said Harned. “The improvements to the plant were promised when we recruited Champion Petfoods and we are so pleased to see this improvement happen. It will enhance growth prospects in the eastern part of Logan County. And the City of Auburn is a high growth area because of the good roads, railroad and other strong infrastructure. This is another piece of that puzzle, which will make it more attractive to future investors.”