Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that Porter Road Butcher Meat Co. LLC, a meat processor based in Princeton, plans to relocate and expand within Caldwell County with more than $1.5 million investment expected to create 83 full-time jobs.

Facing heightened demand, Porter Road is expected to relocate to two buildings encompassing 35,000 square feet of space on Masonic Drive in Princeton to increase capacity.

The move would be a substantial increase from its current 7,000-square-foot facility. The project would provide Porter Road with a larger cutting room and expanded packaging and shipping capabilities. The company plans to complete the move to the new location by the end of 2020.

The 83 projected jobs would include various wage levels and primarily consist of production staff, such as butchers and packaging and shipping positions. An increase in administrative and management, as well as maintenance roles is also expected. Currently, Porter Road employs 31 people in Caldwell County.

“Our business is built on strong relationships with our partners, customers and community,” said Chris Carter, who with James Peisker founded Porter Road. “It was relationships that brought us to Princeton six years ago, and relationships that have encouraged us to deepen our roots and expand.

“We count ourselves fortunate to be working with a proactive team of economic developers — including Princeton’s elected officials and the Lake Barkley Partnership — to meet our needs during this exciting time of growth.”

Princeton Mayor Dakota Young said Porter Road has been a great company to work with in the years since locating in the area.

“James and Chris and the rest of the crew at Porter Road have been incredible to work with,” he said. “Their passion for our community is palpable. They have a broad and dynamic vision for the future of their company, and thankfully, Princeton figures prominently in those plans.

“This project will bring a significant number of good, well-paying job opportunities to our citizens and demonstrates the resiliency and attractiveness of our local economy and Princeton’s small but important role in the resurgence of our regional, state and national economy from the depths of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Caldwell County Judge-Executive Larry Curling noted the job creation associated with the expansion will greatly benefit the local workforce.

“I want to thank Porter Road for being a part of this county and putting their trust in this community,” he said. “Their partnership with Caldwell County is much appreciated, and we look forward to a long alliance with this up-and-coming company. New jobs are the driving force behind economic growth. These new employment opportunities will lead to a healthier community.”

Amanda Davenport, executive director of the Lake Barkley Partnership, said the expansion signals continued growth for the region.

“This expansion will aid in Lake Barkley Partnership’s overall mission of bringing strong, resilient industry to the Lake Barkley Region,” she said. “Development of local companies like Porter Road will continue to establish our region as a leader in agriculture and food production.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program.

The performance-based agreement can provide up to $750,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $1.51 million and annual targets of:

• Creation and maintenance of 83 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years.

• Paying an average hourly wage of $19.46, including benefits across those jobs.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates.