Scott United Executive Director Jack Conner unveiled two new businesses coming to Lane’s Run Business Park during the Georgetown City Council meeting Monday evening.

He presented a check for earnest money on a project encompassing about 7 total acres at the corner of Corporate and Endeavor in the park. This will be a build-lease purchase between the Bristol Group and Georgetown for a 40,000-square-foot structure. Once done, it will be conveyed to Bastian Solutions, which in 2017 was bought by Toyota Advanced Logistics North America, Inc. About 60 jobs will be created at the site.

Conner and Mayor Tom Prather also discussed the recent announcement by Ecofibre, Ltd., which will also be constructing a 40,000-square-foot Hemp Black facility in the park. Ecofibre will employ about 30 when at full operation.

Both companies are examples of what city and county leaders want to see in diversifying the local economy. Scott County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington said during his State of the County address at the monthly Georgetown/Scott County Chamber of Commerce luncheon that he and other leaders are looking to bring aerospace, technology and hemp businesses to the area.

“This allows us to diversify the economy,” Conner said. “And the good thing with the Bastian project is it had no incentives from the state of Kentucky.”

Bastian Solutions’ Georgetown site will develop scalable autonomous material handling systems driven by innovative software and custom automation engineering.

In an email provided by Conner, Bastian Solutions has a varied history of solutions development and implementation, ranging from the most simple to highly automated, including mobile robots, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), automated guided vehicles (AGV), goods-to-person technology, sortation and conveyor. Toyota Advanced Logistics is an important part of Toyota’s global automated material handling group.

Ecofibre is an Australian company specializing in industrial hemp. The Georgetown location would house new processing technology for Hemp Black and expand capacity for Ananda Hemp. Conner said they have a location in Cynthiana that makes CBD oil.

“They use a sophisticated process,” Conner said. “Ecofibre will be a catalyst to forward our strategy,” that includes the economy branching out to biotechnology.

Prather said these purchases will help pay down the debt on the business park and continue to show growth in the area.

“They have a wow factor, especially Ecofibre,” Prather said. “This helps with diversification of our economy to make it more stable and viable.”

The city council also approved three Georgetown Municipal Water & Sewer Service projects approved last week by the GMWSS board: South Sewer Extension Design and Services during Construction, $244,600; Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 1 Upgrade and Expansion Design and Services during Construction, $3,219,345; and Critical Needs Analysis and Rate Study, $134,410.

“We want a rate structure that can support the needed projects,” Prather said. “We want to protect the customers and the council, while capturing as many projects as we can.”

GMWSS General Manager Chase Azevedo said the last long-term plan for the utility was in 1999, and the last rate increase was in 2007.

“This will focus on the next 4-5 years and determine what needs to be done and what efforts are required to complete the projects,” he said.

The South Sewer Extension Project is connected to the mobile home parks in southern Scott County. Azevedo said those parks are using two package treatment plants and the easiest way to remedy the situation is to extend GMWSS’ system to the mobile home parks. Funding has come from a variety of entities, including Georgetown, Scott County, Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government, a Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) loan, along with some grants.

“We laid out a design for this and other areas in the southern part of the county to install a gravity sewer system that would replace pump stations,” Azevedo said. “Some of the work needed to be done would not be covered by the KIA loan, and we are paying that portion of the work.”

In other action the council:

— Accepted streets in East Main Estates and Stonecrest subdivisions

— Approved the Georgetown Fire Department to purchase airbags that can be used to lift vehicles and aid in extracting victims in accidents

— Dr. Crystal Miller with WEDCO was unable to be at the city council meeting, so there was no further discussion on the proposed needle-exchange program. Prather thought it would be more fair to the council and Miller for her to be there to answer questions.

Steve MCClain can be reached at smcclain@news-graphic.com.

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