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Pond River Enterprises To Open Muhlenberg County, Kentucky Distillery

Pond River Enterprises will invest nearly $1.3 million to open a distillery in the historic Graham School in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. The company plans to create 31 jobs.

According to state officials, “the company will initially provide products for the growing unaged spirits market – moonshine – then expand into bourbon. The company plans to open its operation in Graham School, which served as a high school from 1933 to 1990 and as an elementary school until closing in 2004."

One of the owners, Thomas Bard, attended the school, as did three generations of his family. Bard and his partner, Kim Crosby, hope to breathe new life into the facility, restoring the community’s sense of pride in the building and its deep roots in the county, officials said. Pond River Enterprises aims to begin distillation by November 2016 and expects to open to visitors by January 2017.

“Tom and I are looking forward to this project for many reasons. The first being our love for the area and its unique history,” said Crosby. “Bringing much-needed jobs to the community, as well as our plan to create a destination for both local residents and tourists, is the driving force behind this endeavor.”

Aside from personal ties, the company chose Graham for its location near the Western Kentucky Parkway, Pennyrile Parkway and the Interstate 69 corridor. The location also offers a western Kentucky option along the growing Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour.

“I applaud company leaders like those at Pond River Enterprises who recognize the importance of hometowns and giving back to their communities,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “Not only will the location of the company rejuvenate a place rich with history, it will also attract visitors to the community as one of the next additions to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $225,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

In addition, Pond River Enterprises is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.

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