The Bell County Fiscal Court approved payment to Hinkle Contracting in the amount of $202,556.77 for work performed on the Asher Industrial Park road during their regular meeting on Tuesday.
The project consisted of paving the road and helps improve the infrastructure of the industrial park, according to Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock.
Brock said he is aware there are some critics who don’t understand why work is being done to the industrial park when there are no businesses up there.
“I understand that thought process,” said Brock. “When and if things do open up and the country does come back and we are seeing economic growth then our park will be ready, instead of us trying to promote something under the pretense that … if you come here we will build you a road.”
Brock said it can’t be expected for someone to move an industry to a place like the industrial park without good roadway.
“It’s an investment in our future,” said magistrate Junior Maiden about the paving of the road.
Brock also said he is aware that some people believe the money could be spent on other roads in the county. He said it would not be possible to use the money elsewhere because the funds came directly from the state’s transportation budget, and the funds were committed directly for the industrial park.
“None of your local dollars are being used on that industrial park,” said Brock. “These funds have come directly from the $1.9 billion state transportation budget.”
According to Brock, if the funds were not used in Bell County for the industrial park, they would have been used elsewhere in the state.
“We should be thankful that we got that money and not critical of it,” said Brock. “We were very lucky that while the nation’s in a recession that we’ve, at a minimum, been able to work on the infrastructure to our industrial park.”
Anthony Cloud can be reached at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.