U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell joined Major General Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s Adjutant General, Friday in Lexington, Kentucky, for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of Bluegrass Station’s new facility. At the event, Senator McConnell said he was pleased to work with General Tonini “to advance our country’s security goals and to protect good jobs in Central Kentucky.”
Senator McConnell began working on the issue in 2011, after being contacted by General Tonini. The federal government controls land at Bluegrass Station that the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs sought to use to expand its infrastructure and to protect thousands of jobs supporting our national security. Federal restrictions limit the lands to public recreation use only. Senator McConnell brought several federal agencies together in his Washington, DC, office and helped work out a solution that allowed the parties to enter an agreement which not only protects Bluegrass Station’s mission and current jobs but provides the facility the ability to expand and create new jobs.
“I was honored to work with General Tonini to help protect Kentucky jobs and bring economic development to the community,” Senator McConnell. “Due to General Tonini’s vision and our joint efforts, over 2,800 private-sector positions were protected here at Bluegrass Station and the increased capacity is also likely to create more jobs at the facility in the future. I am profoundly grateful to those of you here in uniform today – and to the private-sector employees at the facility – who help make our communities, the Commonwealth and our nation safer.”
General Tonini said, “Senator McConnell is our go-to guy to make sense of senseless situations. Back in 2011, we realized we needed help on the federal level to help change deed restrictions and federal agreements so we contacted Senator Mitch McConnell. Senator McConnell worked with over half-a-dozen federal agencies who were involved in this complicated agreement that not only helped protect these 2,800 Kentucky jobs, but help aid our homeland defense and national security. We are very fortunate to have Senator McConnell as our Kentucky Senator. He’s a friend of mine and an advocate of our Guard.”
According to Bluegrass Station officials, Bluegrass Station has an annual economic impact of approximately $230 million to Central Kentucky.