Thursday March 22, 2018
News Topics

More than 75,000 trucking professionals and representatives will park in Louisville March 22-24 for the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), the largest annual heavy-duty trucking industry event in the world.

The Kentucky Exposition Center has hosted MATS every year since 1972, and the show brings $26 million in economic impact to the Louisville region.

This industry-only event accommodates the entire trucking industry in one venue, so professionals can see new products and services; test drive new trucks and technology; connect with suppliers, distributors and customers; and stay up-to-date with changes in the industry.

More than 1,000 exhibitors will showcase everything from engines to electronics, tools to tires and sealants to sleeper cabs – plus a large number of recruiters will be in attendance. Numerous seminars offer educational opportunities for companies, fleets and trucking professionals.

For more information, visit

Gov. Matt Bevin congratulated Kings Royal Biotech Inc. (KRB), a manufacturer of cannabidiol isolate, for breaking ground on its $30 million-plus facility, a project expected to create 140 full-time jobs in the West Kentucky city of Bardwell.

“Ag-tech businesses are increasingly recognizing the many benefits of manufacturing hemp-related products in Kentucky,” Gov. Bevin said. “We are grateful for the jobs and investment that Kings Royal Biotech brings and for the company’s efforts to build lasting relationships with West Kentucky farmers. We look forward to seeing our state become a global leader in this rapidly growing industry. Congratulations to KRB on today’s announcement and to the Carlisle County community on this exciting new opportunity.”

KRB will build its 75,000-square-foot building on nearly nine acres in Carlisle County. The facility will use state-of-the-art methods to extract, refine and re-crystallize cannabidiol (CBD) from industrial hemp and is believed to be the largest operation of its kind in the nation. With the issuance of an industrial hemp research pilot program processor license by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, KRB plans to start processing hemp in late 2018 and ramp up to full capacity by summer 2019.

“Industrial hemp is the next big thing in Kentucky,” said Keith Taylor, chief operating officer at KRB. “The bourbon industry is synonymous with the state, and it is our goal to reach that level of success, where any time someone thinks of hemp-related products, they think of Kentucky.”

KRB, incorporated in Kentucky in 2017, partnered with a China-based company specializing in industrial hemp-related products to establish the Bardwell operation. KRB licensed its partner’s patented extraction and crystallization process in West Kentucky. CBD isolate and full spectrum oil will then be sold in commercial quantities throughout the US and worldwide. People use CBD isolate for numerous health and wellness purposes.

Taylor noted Kentucky’s ideal conditions for the growth of hemp as a major influence in its decision to locate in the state, and the company has hired J.T. Workman IV, of Carlisle County, as its growing manager. Workman assisted the company to secure an agreement with local farmers to plant and harvest more than 1,000 acres of hemp.

KRB also has partnered with Andrea Schiavi of Lexington-based Schiavi Seeds LLC to provide hemp seeds certified through the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA). Schiavi Seeds received recognition in fall 2017 for becoming the first company since the 1930s to produce certified hemp seeds in the commonwealth.

“Kentucky’s nationally-renowned industrial hemp research pilot program continues to grow,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. “The number of processors is increasing, creating new market opportunities for our farmers and jobs for Kentuckians across the commonwealth. I’d like to thank Governor Bevin and the Cabinet for Economic Development for continuing to attract new and exciting businesses to Kentucky.”

Sen. Danny Carroll, of Paducah, expressed enthusiasm for the project.

“I’d like to congratulate and welcome Kings Royal Biotech to Carlisle County as it builds a $30 million facility that will create 140 jobs in Senate District 2,” Sen. Carroll said. “As a manufacturer of CBD, Kings Royal Biotech uses state-of-the-art methods that will help the commonwealth lead the nation in this fast-growing industry. I look forward to the completion of this project and the national distribution of its Kentucky products.”

Rep. Steven Rudy, of Paducah, welcomed the company to west Kentucky.

“This facility will be a tremendous asset for the Carlisle County region,” Rep. Rudy said. “Hemp production is a growing industry and the company will provide more than 100 great jobs in Kentucky. We welcome Kings Royal Biotech to the state.”

Carlisle County Judge-Executive Greg Terry said the project shines a light on the community’s ability to support new business.

“I am very proud of the work that the Carlisle County Industrial Development Board has done to show what a great place Carlisle County would be for this new CBD isolate facility,” Judge-Executive Terry said. “I look forward to working with Kings Royal Biotech during this process.”

KRB can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.

A detailed community profile for Carlisle County can be viewed at

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.

After extensive community engagement, Develop Louisville staff will present the update of Louisville Metro’s Comprehensive Plan to the Planning Commission on April 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Old Jail auditorium (514 W. Liberty Street).

The Comprehensive Plan is a guide for the community’s growth and development over the next 20 years. This update builds on the current Comprehensive Plan, Cornerstone 2020, and will be in effect until 2040.

Kentucky Revised Statutes requires a Comprehensive Plan for communities with zoning ordinances. The plan was updated using five key principles: connectivity, health, authenticity, sustainability and equity. The plan includes elements focused on land use, transportation, community facilities, livability, housing and economic development.

Extensive research and community engagement was conducted to draft the update. Examples of such engagement methods include an Advisory Committee, six work groups with open membership, nine community forums, a scientific survey, a public opinion survey and presentations at various community events and meetings. In total, over 6,000 Louisville residents participated in over 160 meetings and events to provide their thoughts on this update.

When the Planning Commission completes its review of the updated plan, the document will be presented to Metro Council as well as 12 local municipalities with zoning authority for formal adoption. Those 12 local municipalities are: Anchorage, Douglass Hills, Graymoor-Devondale, Hurstbourne, Indian Hills, Jeffersontown, Lyndon, Middletown, Prospect, Shively, St. Matthews and St. Regis Park.

A public comment period is now open and will remain so until the Planning Commission recommends approval. To view the draft Comprehensive Plan update document and as well as a public comment form, please visit Comments may also be provided to Develop Louisville Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as by mail sent to 444 S. 5th Street, Louisville, KY, 40202, Suite 300, RE: Comprehensive Plan.

Gov. Matt Bevin today joined local officials and company executives from Maxim Crane Works LP, a nationwide crane rental and lifting services provider, to open a $4.71 million office that consolidates the company’s operations into Kentucky and is creating 100 full-time jobs.

“Maxim Crane Works has been a steady corporate partner in Kentucky for more than 80 years, and this latest investment showcases even further commitment to the commonwealth,” Gov. Bevin said. “Maxim Crane is a powerful name within its industry, and we are proud the company continues to strengthen its presence in our state. Congratulations to the company, the community of Wilder and the Northern Kentucky region on this incredible new endeavor.”

Before the ribbon cutting, Maxim executives toured guests through the new 17,000-square-foot office. The building brings together Maxim’s operations and leadership functions in Campbell County, where the company has operated a regional headquarters since 1937. Maxim bases about 400 cranes in Wilder for quick deployment to customers across the Eastern US. Its growth projections – including organic and via acquisition – helped bring the project to fruition.

“This is a project that clearly demonstrates the benefits of a pro-business government working together with the private sector to generate jobs and economic growth at a record pace,” said Frank Bardonaro, COO for Maxim. “We appreciate the support of the Governor and local leaders to provide Maxim the opportunity to bring more jobs and opportunity to the local community as a result of this tremendous joint effort.”

“I am honored to be able to present our employees, customers and the next generation of Maxim employees with this state-of-the-art facility,” added Bryan Carlisle, the company’s CEO. “We are extremely grateful to our employees for providing us with this opportunity to continue what started a few miles away in 1937 and has grown into the largest and most successful Crane Rental company in the USA.”

Maxim is a coast-to-coast provider of crane rental and lifting services. With over 50 locations across the country, Maxim provides services in every state and has consolidated more than 30 crane-rental companies.

Sen. Wil Schroder, of Wilder, noted the company’s prominence within its industry.

“On behalf of the citizens in the 24th Senatorial District, I’d like to welcome the nation’s largest provider of crane rental and lifting services, Maxim Crane Works,” Sen. Schroder said. “This $4.71 million investment and the creation of 100 jobs is yet another testament to Campbell County’s workforce. The 24th Senatorial District continues to be a leader of economic development in the commonwealth and I am proud to welcome this business to our region.”

Rep. Dennis Keene, of Wilder, said the local workforce has the skillset to meet any need and expressed gratitude for the company’s investment in the region.

“This announcement is just further proof that Wilder is a great place to do business and that its workforce is second-to-none,” Rep. Keene said. “I want to thank the leaders of Maxim Crane Works for being such an integral part of our corporate community for more than 80 years and for deciding to invest nearly $5 million more as it consolidates its in-state operations here. I also appreciate what our local and state economic development leaders have done to make today’s ribbon cutting possible.”

Wilder Mayor Stanley Turner commended the company on its steady growth.

“Congratulations to Maxim Crane on the completion of this expansion,” Mayor Turner said. “The City of Wilder is very proud to be the location chosen to support the continued growth of Maxim Crane’s corporate operations in our region.”

Kenton County Judge-Executive and Northern Kentucky Tri-ED Board Chair Kris Knochelmann noted the company’s strong standing within the community.

“Maxim Crane is an excellent community partner in Northern Kentucky and we appreciate their ongoing investment into their facilities, employees and operations here,” Judge-Executive Knochelmann said. “We look forward to continued partnership in the years to come.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) a year ago preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

Maxim Crane also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.

For more information on Maxim Crane Works, visit

Louisville Metro and Airbnb announced today the finalization of an agreement that will allow the company to collect and remit taxes on behalf of its hosts in Louisville and Jefferson County. Effective April 1, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit the Louisville Transient Room Tax (8.5%) for taxable bookings. The agreement allows Louisville to fully benefit from people visiting and staying longer through home sharing.

Collecting and remitting hotel taxes can be complicated, as the rules were designed for traditional hospitality providers and large hotel corporations with teams of lawyers and accountants.

That’s why Airbnb has begun partnering with governments throughout the world to collect and remit taxes, making the process seamless and easy for hosts to pay their fair share while contributing new revenue for local governments. These agreements are particularly impactful for a city like Louisville, where some homeowners may only be hosting visitors during a handful of large events such as the Kentucky Derby, and therefore are less likely to be aware of the applicable taxes associated with short-term rentals.

“I am delighted to see that the city has settled on an agreement with Airbnb. We have leisure and convention travelers requesting the option of an Airbnb. We have a growing number of Airbnb Hosts in Louisville – this will put them on the same playing field as our other accommodations in paying the transient room tax,” said Karen Williams, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention Bureau.

“We are always looking for opportunities to better serve taxpayers,” said Louisville Metro Revenue Commission Director Angela Dunn. “This agreement advances that goal by streamlining the local tax process for hosts.”

This marks Airbnb’s third tax agreement in Kentucky. In September 2017, the company announced a statewide tax agreement with the Kentucky Department of Revenue that authorized the company to collect and remit the state sales tax on all Kentucky Airbnb bookings (including in Louisville Metro). And earlier this year, Airbnb and Lexington announced an agreement authorizing Airbnb to collect and remit Lexington’s local room tax.

“We believe this agreement will unlock significant new revenue for Louisville Convention Bureau moving forward, and we’re so thrilled to have finalized it well prior to the Derby,” said Laura Spanjian, policy director for Airbnb. “With clear, fair rules to regulate home sharing and now a tax agreement to bring in new revenue, Louisville has emerged as a national model for how cities can capitalize from the sharing economy.”

The agreement comes at a time of dynamic home sharing growth in the Greater Louisville area. In 2017, Louisville-area Airbnb hosts earned $10 million in supplemental income while welcoming over 78,000 guest arrivals to the city.

Photo: Louisville Metro Housing Authority

The Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund (LAHTF) has announced the allocation of FY18 funds. LAHTF allocated about $8.76 million to 22 different projects which will assist in the creation or preservation of 1,115 units to projects in 8 Metro Council Districts.

Because of Trust Fund dollars, 775 of these units will be updated and upgraded while maintaining their affordability. 340 of the units will be brand new, through new construction or renovation of a vacant property.

The allocation was celebrated at the ground breaking of Middletown Apartments, a project that was allocated FY18 funds, as well as funds from Louisville CARES. The Apartments will consist of 80 one, two and three bedroom units on Urton Lane.

“An increase of affordable housing units, scattered across our community, is essential for our residents to reach their full human potential,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “When families are cost-burdened by their rent, they have to give up other things like time with children, food or other essentials. The allocation by LAHTF will open housing opportunities for people who need them while simultaneously attacking other problems in our community like vacant properties.”

“Fully funding the Trust Fund is the only way we can begin to move the needle on the affordable housing shortage,” LAHTF Executive Director Christie McCravy said. “Projects and jobs are created, residents have choice…it’s a win for the entire community.”

LAHTF FY18 funds have been allocated as such:

  • $175,000 to Winterwood Property Management for the renovation and rehab of the 27 unit Rivertown Apartments complex in District 6
  • $1.74 million to LDG for the new construction of 158 units of a 316 unit multifamily apartment development in District 24
  • $1 million to Housing Partnership Inc. (HPI) for the rehab of the 89 units at York Towers in District 4
  • $450,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville for the new construction of 15 single family homes on vacant properties in Districts 1, 4, 5, and 16
  • $350,000 to New Directions Housing Corporation and River City Housing for the renovation and rehab of 7 vacant single family homes in District 4
  • $1 million to HPI and Urban Acupuncture for the new construction of a 24 unit multifamily development designed to house refugee families on a vacant property in District 5
  • $30,000 to HPI for Operation Victory, a collaboration between HPI and local unions to build a home on a vacant property for the purposes of housing a homeless veteran
  • $566,000 to Dayspring Community Living for the new construction of 3 single family homes on vacant properties in Districts 6 and 15, creating 9 single room occupancy housing units for the disabled
  • $58,000 to House of Ruth and River City Housing for the new construction of a duplex on a vacant property in District 4
  • $225,000 to HPI for the renovation and rehab of 11 vacant single family homes in District 4, 5 and 6
  • $500,000 to Allied Argenta for the renovation and rehab of 125 units of the Henry Greene Apartments in District 4
  • $1 million to Telesis Corp. for the renovation and rehab of 503 units at City View Park in District 4
  • $250,000 to HPI for the new construction of the 80 unit Middletown Apartments in District 19
  • $266,000 to Wabuck Co. for the renovation and rehab of the 16 unit Lions Arms I complex in District 1
  • $200,000 to AME Church and Allied Argenta for the renovation and rehab of the 15 units Greater Community Apartments in District 5
  • $300,000 to REBOUND, Inc. for the purchase and rehab of 4 vacant properties in District 4
  • $189,000 to APK Development for the purchase and rehab of 5 vacant single family homes in Districts 1 and 5
  • $330,000 to DF Property Holdings, LLC for the rehab of 11 vacant single family homes in Districts 4,5,6, and 15
  • $100,000 to Blackrock, LLC for the rehab of 12 units of a vacant multifamily complex in District 4
  • $34,000 to Yvonne and Crystal McAfee for the rehab of one vacant single family home in District 4

Additional funds were allocated to Homes of the Innocents ($10,000), HPI ($3,500) and Louisville Urban League ($15,000) for supportive housing services.

For more information on the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund, please visit…

This month, people who travel Dixie Highway had the chance to see detailed plans for the $35 million New Dixie Highway Project and offer their feedback.

Dozens attended an open house at Shively Community Center on Feb. 15, 2018, to talk with project leaders about construction plans, bus design, ramp improvements and more. In addition to the open house, project leaders continue to gather input with an online feedback form.

New Dixie Highway Project is designed to create transportation and safety improvements along the busy roadway. The project will concentrate on three major areas of improvement:

  • Roadway safety and design improvements, including raised medians and left-hand-only turn lanes, along the most congested and dangerous section (Crums Lane to Greenwood Road). Project Map (PDF)
  • The region’s first bus rapid transit route, with eight priority buses and three dozen highly visible stations that will improve travel times for both transit riders and motorists. Bus Route Details (PDF)
  • A new Intelligent Transportation System that will improve and coordinate traffic signal timing along the entire corridor.

Construction on the project began in December, and is expected to conclude in December 2019. It’s the first major project under Mayor Greg Fischer’s MOVE Louisville initiative, which seeks to modernize and improve transportation across the metro area. The project is fueled by a combination of federal, state and local funds.

For more information:

The New Dixie Highway Website

Open House Handouts and Documents

Feedback Form