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Goodbye FedEx; Hello Cross Lanes

Shipping Company Leaving Scott Depot Location

In a blow to Putnam County's economy, FedEx Ground and Home Delivery announced Friday, January 13th, 2012, that it is leaving its Scott Depot location to build a new, larger distribution center, in Cross Lanes, near the Walmart and Lowe's.

Construction of the $6 million facility will start early this spring and it will open in the summer or fall of 2012, according to FedEx Manager Linda Hamilton.

The good news is that no one will lose their jobs. W. Kent CarperThe bad news, for Putnam County, is that those dozens of jobs are moving to Kanawha County, which Commissioner W. Kent Carper is bragging about.

"We will retain everybody that's here," says Hamilton. "There will probably be new jobs created, depending on the volume of our business." 

That business is expected to grow as the Putnam County population keeps growing.

While Hamilton isn't committing to new FedEx jobs, there will definitely be new high-paying Linda Hamiltonconstruction jobs created to erect buildings on what is now an empty dirt lot. 

And, there will definitely be more traffic created in an area that has plenty of congestion from the many retail stores in the Nitro Marketplace, the Mardi Gras Casino, Big Sandy Outlet, the cinema multiplex, and hotels.

What appears to be a better location, for roadway access, is the PutnamGary S. Walton County Business Park. It has hundreds of acres available at the new U.S. 35 and Route 817. Why didn't Fedex move there and what did the Putnam County Development Authority, which has spent millions of dollars on the business park, do to entice FedEx to the complex and keep it in Putnam County? PutnamLIVE.com emailed the PCDA's Executive Director Gary S. Walton, and Board of Director Members Amanda H. Curry and Scott D. Edwards to ask those questions.

Edwards sent a sarcastic email response asking, "Why did your wife divorce you?" Scott D. Edwardsand another saying, "Serious comments are saved for serious media outlets." 

As of this publication, Curry and Walton have not responded. When PutnamLIVE.com telephoned the home of PCDA Board of Directors President David W. Bunger we were told he is in North Carolina. We left a message. As of this publication Bunger has not returned the call.

It is easy to see why FedEx is moving out of Scott Depot. With no acreage available to expand and a location away from Interstate 64, the current site has challenges.

However, when faced with similar acreage issues, in 2006, Roy Elswick moved his Tasty Blends Foods from Scott Depot (above photo) to the Putnam County Business Park, (below photo) and Schwan's moved down the road to the business park.

Putnam County officials are hoping that other companies move into the Scott Depot FedEx buildings to replace the lost jobs. But the $6 million constuction job will be happening in Kanawha County.

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