Oil Industry Causes Spike in Madison County Economy

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

Officials say this has been a record year for the oil industry in Madison County, and its causing a ripple effect on the local economy.

“As of 2012, it was the biggest increase we've had so far. In the county, we've had 260 million dollars of new value from the oil industry. Approximately 20-26 new wells, the average value about 10 million dollars per well,” said Matt Newton, Madison County Chief Appraiser. That's a 200 percent increase in one year.

Oil companies aren't the only ones benefiting from the boom.

{David Patel/Carefree Motel Owner} “Last year and this year, I can see the business improved,” said David Patel, owner of the Carefree Inn in Madisonville.

Madisonville Motels have been filling up with oilfield workers.

“That's basically our main source of income. We have people from Mississippi, people from Louisiana. We have definitely increased in volume of business in the last 6 months basically,” said Mary Shiflet, Best Western.

The Madisonville Fire Department is also seeing some changes.

“It’s a tough job, it’s a very dangerous job,” said Thom Jones, Madisonville Fire Chief. “There’s a lot of hazards. Over the years we've gone on a lot of fatalities...a lot of tank explosions. Part of the reason Madisonville has so much foam firefighting equipment is because of the oil fields. That's a pretty common thing for us to go out on.”

Madison County officials don’t know how long this boom will last, but they are confident this is just the beginning.

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