Governor Steve Beshear today joined local leaders and company officials to announce funding to assist in the expansion of Bluegrass Shavings LLC and create 50 new full-time jobs in the Casey County area.
The $1 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awarded from the state will help the Liberty/Casey County Economic Development Authority purchase new equipment which will then be leased to Bluegrass Shavings LLC, which specializes in producing and delivering premium kiln-dried wood shavings and sawdust specifically for horse, poultry and cattle bedding.
The new equipment includes grinders, conveyors, a chipper, a bagging machine and other wood-shaving hardware. The purchase of the equipment aids the company's expansion and will create new jobs.
"Community and local businesses are the backbone of Kentucky's economy," said Gov. Beshear. "This funding shows our commitment to assisting small businesses to help them grow, create jobs and benefit residents of their community as a whole."
Bluegrass Shavings LLC, which opened for business in the fall of 2009, purchases waste logs from area landowners and loggers then manufactures shavings for sale. During the first year, the company was profitable; however, one year later a fire destroyed company equipment and buildings. Currently Bluegrass Shavings LLC is selling shavings to existing customers with only one employee, who hauls the product.
In addition to the $1 million grant, Bluegrass Shavings LLC is investing $2.4 million in new buildings, rolling stock and inventory to aid in its expansion.
"Since the devastating fire which destroyed Bluegrass Shavings in October of 2010, the Casey County community has worked with the business owners to restore hope that this business can rebuild and provide much needed jobs to the community," said Rep. Terry Mills, of Lebanon. "With the approval of this Community Development Block Grant, I hope Bluegrass Shavings can again become a thriving part of this community. I want to personally thank all community leaders and the Lake Cumberland Area Development District for their efforts and the Hoskins family for their diligence in bringing this business back. Finally, I am grateful to Gov. Beshear and his Department for Local Government and their staff. We are all committed to bringing good jobs to this community."
Kentucky's CDBG program is administered by DLG and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).