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City of Glendale ready for benefits of new Ford electric battery plants

The tiny town an hour south of Louisville is excited about the prospect of new customers but also have concerns about a plant this size.

GLENDALE, Ky. — Finally.

That’s what many in Glendale said after hearing the news that Ford will be building a battery plant on a 1,500-acre parcel of land that’s sat vacant for years.

Rick Games, president of the Elizabethtown and Hardin County Industrial Foundation, said the county had held onto the property for almost two decades.

Games said over the years, they got offers on the land, but nothing ever was quite right.

Until now, when Ford Motor Company expressed interest.

Kentucky leaders announced Monday a twin battery plant will be built in Glendale. The products will power a new lineup of Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles (EVs).

"Finally, something's going in there,” Gerald Lush said.

Lush owns Bennie's Barn Antique Mall in Glendale.

He said he knows once this project gets going, some big changes will be coming along with it.

"I'm excited for the opportunity that the new plant will give the state, but I'm a little worried about what it might do to the feel of the community,” Lush said.

Games said a project of this size will open the door to a lot of infrastructure improvements in the area.

"They always make the comparison to Toyota at Georgetown,” Games said. “Georgetown is a small sleepy little town. Toyota showed up in 85, 86, whatever it was. Obviously it changed the face of the community and I fully expect it to do that here. When you bring that many jobs, you'll have a fairly significant number of people that will move here. It will change the outlook."

Games said this plant, which will bring 5,000 jobs, will be a big draw. After all, the town's population is 1,736

In a press briefing Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said that 5,000 figure is jobs direct at the plant. He said he anticipates the jobs total will be much higher when you include ancillary jobs that come along with building and supplying a plant of this size.

"These are jobs that people will move to your community and be able to make a good wage and raise a family,” Games said.

So while we aren't sure what exactly Glendale will look like in 5 or 10 years, Lush, who's owned Bennie's Barn for 16 years, said he’s happy Ford is coming.

He said he knows it'll be good to see the area get more developed.

But change also brings uncertainty, and he's not sure what the plant will do the ambiance of this sleepy little town.

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