Economic Development Commission Chairman David Shore made the announcement Monday during a press conference in City Hall.
"This is the day that those of us on the Economic Development Commission and city and county have been looking forward to for several months," Shore said.
The new 180,000 square foot facility will be constructed on 12 to 14 acres in Industrial Park 3 located about 4 miles east of downtown Cadiz near Interstate 24. It will house two production lines that will produce aluminum flatbed trailers.
Operations are speculated to begin as early as January 1, according to Shore.
Cadiz was among at least two other communities Benson was considering for their new plant. Shore said that a team from Benson was in Trigg County in July for a two-day peek at elements Trigg County had to offer. After visiting here and two locations in Tennessee and Alabama, Benson made the announcement Monday.
"We had no idea what our possibilities were because they were looking at both Tennessee and Alabama," Shore said.
He also said that Donny Holland, Dan Bozarth and Steve Allen, all members of the EDC, in return visited their facility in Mineral Wells, West Virginia for a day and a half tour of the company’s operation there.
Holland has since been promoted to the company’s president and CEO. Shore wouldn’t say if Holland planned on locating to West Virginia or if the company’s administrative team would be locating to Trigg County. He did say that the company would be looking at hiring a plant manager for the factory in Cadiz.
"Donny is a Trigg Countian," Shore said of Holland, who was not in attendance at Monday’s announcement. "He has been with Johnson Controls and (American National Rubber) and has been successful every place he has been."
Holland was formerly plant manager of ANR, however Shore said that Holland was promoted a few months ago and has since left the business under the guidance of Ernie Baker, former operations director.
The total investment Benson has made will total approximately $13 million, including land purchase, equipment and other start-up costs. In return for their investment, the state as well as the City of Cadiz has provided some tax incentives for Benson.
Two weeks ago, the state EDC said that they were offering almost $4 million in tax breaks to the company through the Kentucky Industrial Development Act, which is sanctioned to provide such breaks for industries wanting to locate to Kentucky. The City of Cadiz will forego payroll tax collection for their first two years of operations, Shore said.
Benson’s introduction will make it the second largest manufacturer and employer in Trigg County. Over its first two to five years of operation, the company will hire as many as 250 workers making it second to Johnson Controls, Inc. which employs approximately 750 workers. ANR stands at third with 165 on the payroll.
Other county officials including Mayor Lyn Bailey and Judge-Executive Berlin Moore seemed very supportive of Benson and Trigg County’s capability to support the industry.
"We know that our labor force and community support will make for a very profitable relationship for Benson and citizens of Trigg County," Moore said during the press conference.
Shore said Benson plans on beginning its construction phases as soon as possible. Hiring will begin as soon as next week, he said.
The construction project will be a design-build format. The contractor chosen will have the opportunity to design and build what will be Benson’s new plant. The bidding on the project has not been opened, however the process will begin shortly, Shore said.
Benson International is an off shoot of the larger parent company, International Industries which also deals in timber and coal mining, Shore said. Chairman of the Board for International Industries Jack "Buck" Harless added that Benson is looking to expand their business into new places and Trigg County is the place for them.
"While Benson International has always been a significant part of our family of companies in the past, we are developing and executing a plan to make it a more significant part of our future," Harless said in a release. "This new state-of-the-art facility will position Benson to meet and exceed those expectations."
Governor Ernie Fletcher will mark the groundbreaking with a visit to Cadiz. There was no certain indication of when that event will take place, however it was speculated to be within the next month.