Judge Shane Gabbard

The past week we have been busy in the Judges Office working on economic development opportunities for Jackson County. One recent enquiry was from a call I received last week from Senture Company informing me of some upcoming job opportunities for citizens here in Jackson County. Senture opened up in Annville a few years ago and has been trying to expand every since. Last year took a toll on many businesses in Jackson County because of Covid-19, so it was great news when I received a call from them that they had planned a job fair for Wednesday January 20, 2021. These projected jobs have starting pay around $15 per hour and are mainly work from home. Anytime a company comes in and offers good paying jobs its exciting for that community. That is why we try every avenue that is open and look for every opportunity we can for job growth in our County. Jobs means more business opportunities. That means more successful communities. This all adds up to our citizens not needing to move out of Jackson County because of the lack of jobs. We want Jackson County people to be able to work and stay in Jackson County. We are a strong community and are always looking for opportunities to make us stronger. 

 Since we are talking about jobs, I want to give you an update on the old Mid-South Electrics property. The Jackson County IDA was able to get a clear deed for the property in 2017. Since then, the board of directors at the IDA along with staff and management from PRTC and Jackson Energy and myself have worked to get the property on the market for industrial purposes. In fact, that property is the most buildable piece of property for manufacturing purposes east of I-75. It has access to natural gas, high speed internet, industrial electricity, water and sewer. It also has a 200,000 square foot concrete pad with loading docks, left from the fire in 2005. All of us would love to see another factory at that site. I don’t see that as an impossible task but rather one that can be reached with teamwork and effort. We are marketing that property and I talk about it every place I go that a potential client may be. It’s the way to build our future and that is what we have in mind when we work on economic development in Jackson County. 

 In 2021, I would love to see a sense of community pride come to life in Jackson County again. We need a county-wide spring cleaning in the next couple of months. Several citizens have not complied with the Solid Waste ordinance and officers are ticketing those that are not properly disposing of household trash. I have noticed a lot of roadside litter this winter and it seems to be getting worse instead of better. Last week I set in on a Zoom meeting with a representative of an organization that would like to help McKee get some grant money to do a downtown renovation and revitalization. People are getting interested in us, so we need to show them we are interested in them coming to work here and start businesses. If every community would do a volunteer clean up, I believe it would spark a sense of love in each community that would spill over into the next. I have some ideas that may spark a good sense of community pride that I will discuss at a later date. In the meantime, let’s work together to see Jackson County thrive. God Bless.       


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