“We’re running out of good sites and need to start doing work for the future,” Governor Andy Beshear told Kentucky mayors during a Wednesday morning conference call.
His request for ideas came eight days after Ford Motor Company announced a $5.8 billion investment just south of Elizabethtown. BlueOval City will include 5,000 jobs when it begins manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles in 2025.
Beshear said that while he expects to announce hundreds of new jobs at smaller developments over the next month, Kentucky will need locations for mega-projects. Those sites, he said, would require hundreds if not thousands of acres per plot.
The governor plans to ask legislators to allocate dollars to a site development fund.
Beshear asked mayors to contact the Department for Local Government (DLG) with their thoughts on potential sites and to list infrastructure needs.
COVID-19 was also a focus of Wednesday’s call, with Beshear reporting that cases, positivity rates, and hospitalizations continue to trend downward. Kentucky hospitals currently report 184 intensive care unit beds available, the most in the past month.
Beshear expressed optimism for anticipated federal vaccine developments in the coming month. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will discuss Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots.
Beshear added that regulators might soon approve the Pfizer vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old.