In June 24 Issue
Gov. Steve Beshear came to Russell Springs June 17th for a ribbon cutting event at Stephens Pipe and Steel for the expansion which will entail an investment of more than $1.1 million and will create 25 new jobs in the community.
"The expansion of Stephens Pipe and Steel is a most welcome development for Russell Springs and the Commonwealth, creating 25 new jobs and a capital investment in excess of $1.1 million," said Gov. Beshear. "Kentucky is pleased to partner with Stephens Pipe and Steel to make this project possible and we look forward to their continued success and growth."
Stephens Pipe and Steel purchased a 20,000 square-foot facility. The new operation will vinyl-coat galvanized wire the company uses to manufacture the chain-link fencing products currently produced in Russell Springs.
"The past 18 months has been the most challenging since we opened Stephens Pipe nearly 36 years ago," said Ted Eysenbach, general manager of Stephens Pipe and Steel. "During that time many customers have laid off most of their employees or ceased operations altogether. Therefore, it is gratifying that the Governor and the Legislature recognize and value the efforts of existing companies such as ours, and have created incentive programs that enable us to move forward. Because of the Kentucky Business Investment Program, we will be hiring 25 new employees to staff this new operation right here in our hometown. That's progress."
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Stephens Pipe and Steel for tax incentives up to $500,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The incentive can be earned over a 15-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.
"What you have here today will likely be the start of more good news in jobs," said Gene Royalty, director of the county's industrial development authority as he introduced the governor during last Thursday's event.
In his speech, Beshear pointed out that during this economic crisis Kentucky has managed not to close schools or lay off firefighters or police officers as other states in the union have, and the legislature and his administration have continued to press for economic development.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel," Beshear said. He predicted more new jobs across the state as the economy begins turning around. "Things are picking up and it will be exciting over the next few years."
State Rep., Jeff Hoover represented the county at the ceremony, and praised the local industrial development authority's work to not only attract new businesses but to grow the local businesses in this community.
Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates agreed, adding that the governor's enthusiasm and optimism has been a moving force in the commonwealth.
"We can justifiably point with pride to Stephens Pipe and Steel and its president, Mr. Terry Stephens, for their innovative approach to manufacturing," said Mayor Hollis DeHart, city of Russell Springs. "Mr. Stephens was born and raised in Russell County and we are extremely proud of him. He has taken a small local business and developed Stephens Pipe and Steel into one of the largest industries of its kind in the United States. Stephens Pipe and Steel is an integral part of this community and we look forward to many more years of progress and growth."
DeHart added, "I have worked for 50-cents an hour. Those were tough times, these are tough times. He said the commonwealth, this county and its cities have weathered the worst of it, and he can see it all improving soon.