Fiscal Court approves IRBs for new $125 million bourbon warehouse complex

District 1 Magistrate Keith Metcalfe reviews documents during Tuesday’s meeting of Nelson Fiscal Court.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Friday, Jan. 13, 2023 — Nelson Fiscal Court approved a resolution in support of $125 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds sought by Project Spirits.

The company is planning to build up to 22 new bourbon warehouses on 186 acres in Nelson County. Each warehouse would store approximately 24,000 barrels.

According to Tim Eifler, the attorney representing the company, the plan is to build two or three warehouses each year. The project will create 6 to 12 fulltime jobs, he explained.

Unlike previous industrial revenue bonds approved by the county, the Project Spirits IRBs would have a 15-year term, though they could be renewed by fiscal court for up to 40 years.

The agreement also includes the company’s promise that it will continue to pay the liquids tax on the company’s stored spirits, even if the General Assembly takes action to eliminate the state’s tax on stored spirits.

The IRBs were approved in a 5-0 vote.

JAILER UPDATE. Nelson County Jailer Justin Hall said he wants the jail to be an asset to the community, and be able to provide inmate labor to assist local groups with community projects.

Inmates could also be used to assist county crews with bulky item pickup in the Spring, he said.

CORONER DENIED THIRD DEPUTY. The court debated a request from Coroner Danielle Chladek for the appointment of a third deputy coroner.

According to state law, a coroner can have one deputy coroner per 25,000 residents in the county. Nelson County’s population is just under 50,000, meaning the coroner can have — by state statute — only two deputies. The deputies will be required to attend a state training next month.

Magistrate MT Harned.

Magistrate Keith Metcalfe was vocal in his opposition to adding a third deputy coroner, especially since state law is clear on how many deputies a coroner may have.

“It’s hard for me, as a business person, to understand 13 days on the job and already wanting more help,” he said of the request.

Magistrate Jeff Lear made a motion to hire a third deputy coroner if it creates no new expenses for the county.

The motion died in a 3-2 vote, with Magistrates Snow, Harned and Metcalfe voting against the measure.

LANDFILL UPDATE. Solid waste coordinator John Greenwell updated the court on the landfill expansion.

The expansion will happen in two phases, the first being a 6.7 acre tract, and the second covering 3.6 acres. The two phases should have a useful life of 10 to 12 years.

COURTHOUSE ASSESSMENT. Nelson County Judge-Executive Tim Hutchins told the court that he has requested professional assessments of the Old Courthouse.

The assessments will evaluate the entire building and its systems, he said. The goal is to create plans for a project that will address all the buildings problems and flaws, and be ready to go when grant money or other funds make it possible to proceed.

Nelson Fiscal Court also;

— approved first reading of an ordinance to change the meeting time of the court’s second meeting each month to 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month. The second reading will take place at one of the February fiscal court meetings.

— approved the addition of captain and chief deputy to the sheriff’s office hazardous duty retirement list. The change brings the retirement records up to date.

NEXT UP: Nelson Fiscal Court meets next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.

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