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County officials welcome future data center

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By Lisa King

Magistrates enthusiastically approved an application Tuesday night by the Eaton Corporation to apply for an industrial revenue bond.

Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger said the Cleveland, Ohio-based corporation's data center planned for Simpsonville will be a "unique, exciting opportunity for Shelby County."

"It will be a tremendous economic stimulus to our region and give us national recognition," he said.

Magistrate Michael Riggs agreed, saying, "I want to thank the Eaton Corporation for coming to Shelby County."

Simpsonville Mayor Steven Eden said the entire community is looking forward to having the data center locate there.

"As you can imagine, we are all very excited," he said.

Eden said that although he does not have many details as yet, he hopes that people in his community will able to take advantage of jobs involving the construction and staffing of the facility.

At Tuesday night's meeting of the fiscal court, Eaton officials issued a position statement to magistrates about the 55,000 square-foot, $80 million data processing center which will be located on 25 acres in Kingbrook Commerce Park in Simpsonville.

The staff will be hired locally for both facilities, which includes an identical facility planned for Jefferson County. Don Davis with Eaton Corporation said 15-20 employees will be needed to staff the two facilities.

The jobs will pay an average of $75,000 per year.

According to the position statement, Kentucky was chosen as the location for the new facilities based on a comprehensive set of internal criteria.

In each of the two data centers, 30,000 square feet is expected to be allotted for the data center and 25,000 square feet for office space. Eaton's multi-million investment in these two data centers will consist of land, buildings and information technology equipment to be located within the facilities. Revenue bonds will finance the project.

Eaton Corporation, which employs 81,000 people and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries, will utilize the Kentucky facilities as the corporation's main locations for its world-wide operations, Davis said.

The facilities also will utilize environmentally friendly and energy efficient practices in their construction and ongoing operations, he added.

Davis said construction is scheduled to begin next March and is expected to take 12-18 months to complete.