Lee County officials optimistic company could be reopening shuttered factory

Posted at 6:53 PM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 19:24:54-04

BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Less than seven weeks ago, you could only take a boat through Beattyville when a heavy amount of rain led to high water that flooded downtown.

"We were barely hanging on by a thread, and then our town was destroyed by a flood," said Lisa Moore, a Beattyville City Council member. "Something just keeps trying to knock us back, but it's not going to keep us down."

As they had through disasters before, the town united to clean up Main Street and began a long rebuild.

"Through floods, through pandemics, no matter what, everyone always picks up and pulls together during the hard times. And that's what makes you not want to leave home. No matter what happens," said Moore.

In the weeks since some businesses have returned.

Last week saw more good news. The city revealed that Lion Apparel, once one of the county's biggest employers, could be looking to reopen a line at its shuttered Beattyville factory.

"And the lady I've talked with said the momentum was really good at this time," said Beattyville Mayor Scott Jackson.

Reopening the facility will not only bring more jobs to Beattyville and Lee County, but it would bring in more cash to everyone else.

"The rule of thumb is that a dollar in the county, it goes through seven hands before it leaves the county," said Jackson

"If you travel to another community for work, a lot of times on the way home you're going to spend the money there," said Chuck Caudill, Lee County Judge/Executive.

If more jobs return, Caudill says more people can buy homes, diversify the tax base, and spend their income at restaurants and shops looking to rebound.

"So I think the tides are getting ready to turn, and everything's going to be just fine. We had to go through a few bad things to get here," said Moore.

Mayor Jackson says there could be an announcement about the job fair this week. For anyone interested in a job, you can contact Lion Apparel at 606-743-3171 or the Middle KY Career Center at 606-464-2254.