PARSONS, KS.-- Great Plains Industrial Park CEO, Dan Goddard says the future of Southeast Kansas has now begun.
"We realize we're going to have to do an awful lot of work to attract people to this industrial park," states Dan Goddard.
Since the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant near Parsons was closed by the base realignment and closure process in 2005, a team has been working with the federal government to find a way to make the 14 thousand acre facility into an asset for the community. Now 68-hundred of those acres will form Parson's newest industrial park, something Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says everyone can be proud of.
"What I see here is a facility that is really unusual. You've got 14,000 acres of land to be able to develop, and move forward and change from this arsenal of democracy, which it was, to an arsenal of the economy," states Sam Brownback, Kansas Governor.
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins says the park will do more than just bring jobs to the area.
"What jobs means to me as a momma, with a 21 year old, and an 18 year old is that there will be opportunities for my kids when they graduate from college or continue their education to stay right here in Kansas," states Jenkins.
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran says it also shows what the dedication of a community can do.
"It's a recognition of hard work, of leadership, or cooperation in Southeast Kansas to make this happen, and it's also a day in which we look forward to coming back and turning shovels of dirt and cutting ribbons," states Moran.
For now, Goddard is ready to get back to work, building a brighter future for Parsons, and for the region.
"To be on the ground floor of something like this is fantastic," states Goddard.
The industrial park already has one tenant. Progress rail services will operate a rail car maintenance shop there.