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Independence OKs $70 Million Industrial Development


Independence city council gave its approval to the issuance of industrial revenue bonds (IRB) and development agreement in support of an industrial park development on a 110-acre site in unincorporated Kenton County southwest of the city.

The city is expected to annex that land.

Jim Parsons, an attorney with Keating, Muething and Klekamp who specializes in IRB, explained that such bonds were necessary for the 1.2 million sq. ft. development.

VanTrust Real Estate is acquiring the land on Mt. Zion Rd. (KY 536). Three new concrete buildings are expected to be constructed after the acquisition and annexation.

It was stated during a special council meeting this week that VanTrust became interested in the land and first approached Kenton County before being redirected to the city when county officials thought it would be better served there.

The land will be rezoned as industrial.

It is part of a stretch of land that is expected to benefit from an eventual KY 536 project, making it more accessible via the interstates.

Parsons explained that the city is only the conduit for the funds that the company borrows through IRB for the approximately $70 million project, and the city is not responsible in any way for the loan. He pointed out projects in Newport, Covington, Crescent Springs and Florence, and said IRB have been used in projects all over Northern Kentucky.

Phil Rasey and Ryan Lidke from VanTrust were at the meeting to answer any questions they could from council.  

Usually in an agreement such as this, 100 percent of the taxes go to the city, but because the topography of the land is difficult,  approximately $50,000 will be going back to the company to help build the infrastructure. 

The project is predicted to produce $337,000 a year in tax revenue.

The company will be putting in a three-lane road approximately 1,800-feet long, and have allowed space for truck stacking.

Council unanimously approved the deal.

The annexation process is underway.

Mayor Chris Reinersman was happy with the agreement, citing a slight imbalance in residential and industrial development revenue in the city and said that this would help.  He appreciated the work everyone has done on the project.

"This is a big jump," he said. "Nobody is disappointed on this."

Councilmember Carol Franzen said that she has been on council for a long time and has been in favor of a project like this.

"This is an incredible step for Independence," she said. "And it has only taken 19 years to accomplish it."

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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