city owensboro 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/9/13) – As the city of Owensboro continues to garner national attention, one internationally known magazine has reportedly awarded Owensboro a ranking that is sure to get the attention of job seekers and prospective employers alike.

According to local sources, Forbes Magazine, a powerhouse voice in the business world, has ranked Owensboro sixth on its list of “Best Small Towns to Hold a Job In.” The 2013 ranking means that Owensboro has jumped fifteen slots over last year’s survey, in which the city was ranked at number 21, leading to an employment growth rate of 2.5%.

Owensboro has “definitely been a city on the move,” as Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne puts it, especially in the past year with the opening of Smothers Park (considered by many to be the keynote accomplishment of Payne’s ambitious downtown renovation project). The new park was one of the first steps of a plan that when introduced in 2009 was met with reluctance and faced quite a bit of public backlash. The plan itself had no other possible funding mechanism than to be paid for with taxes, most of which were harvested through  tax rate increases in the city. More than half of the $178.4 million in public and privately financed downtown renovation projects have been provided by an $80 million tax hike that raised the city premium insurance tax rate to from 4 percent to 8 percent and in the outlying Daviess County from 4.9 percent to 8.9 percent.

Despite the skepticism early on, the results of the are starting to see a return on the investment. Within the past two years, Owensboro has seen an influx of private money pour into the downtown, with private investors reportedly spending approximately $90 million in the area.

On Thursday, following the release of the Forbes rating to the public, Payne said Owensboro is truly excited about the news.

“This has just reaffirmed what we have thought all along… that is, Owensboro is definitely a city on the move,” Payne said.

He pointed out that when he took office in 2008, Owensboro was reeling from the effects of a deep recession.

“We realized that we had to invest in ourselves, and that coming out of that recession was exactly the right time to do it,” Payne remarked. “All of the projects we began are completed with the exception of the downtown hotel and convention center, and those should be completed within the year.”

Convention Center officials have set an official opening date for late January 2014.

Now months into his second term, Payne has even more ambitious plans to make Owensboro a brighter star on the map. Currently, plans are being discussed that would bring an interstate through Owensboro. I-67 would run from Nashville to Indianapolis, and would pass through Owensboro on the way.

“It’s not a matter of if,” said Payne, “It’s simply a matter of when.”

More job opportunities are expected to continue to pour into Owensboro this year. Last week, it was announced that the Gabe’s Tower hotel has been bought. The new owner and developer has plans to renovate and reopen it. A new tennis facility is also in the planning stages. It is slated to open in late 2013.

Alex Reid
SurfKY News

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Dawson Springs Police Reports Released

DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (6/1/15) — The Dawson Springs Police Department released the following reports Monday, June 1.… Read More

Lakeshore Invitational Set for June 6-7

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (6/1/15) — The Lakeshore Invitational is set for Saturday, June 6 - Sunday, June 7 at Lakeshore… Read More

Most Read This Week

May 27, 2015 7419

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 30, 2015 7111

Study of Virus Attack on Cancer Sees Success

by Julie Heflin
May 28, 2015 6538

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 4273

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 3831

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - May 27, 2015

by Crime Stoppers

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 11333

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 9378

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

June 01, 2015 1527

Authorities Discover Meth Lab While Assisting…

by SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 1501

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 1287

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1149

Two Muhlenberg Women Injured in Collision

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1112

Woman Charged with Falsely Reporting Kidnapping

by SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 1105

Survivors, Caregivers, Supporters Gather for…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 1062

Human Relations Coordinator Identifies Possible…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 942

Juveniles Accused of Falsely Reporting Masked…

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
June 02, 2015 921

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 898

Traffic Signal at Intersection in Downtown…

by Keith Todd