188 189 community. Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hen- dricks discusses the city’s enviable economic position and future de- velopment plans: “We have three pillars that give us a stable, steadily growing economy. First, we are the home of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the third largest military installa- tion in the country, with just under 30,000 troops stationed onsite. Clearly, when we think about the fu- ture of our community, Fort Camp- bell is a significant part; its soldiers and families represent about a $4.5-billion impact on our economy. “Secondly, we’re an agrarian econ- omy, always in the top five in sev- eral cash crop varieties, including tobacco, corn, soybeans, and wheat. The agricultural sector drives a $1.8 billion annual local economic impact. Third is our very large and diverse manufacturing base –heavy in automotive parts manufacturing, food, chemical, plastics, and others. These three pillars are major con- siderations when looking to the HOPKINSVILLE, KENTUCKY years ahead.What can we do to be more attrac- tive to those three industry sectors? How can we recruit more people to live here and work in those industries? How can we remove barriers to growth in these sectors, so we can have a vibrant and growing economy?” Payroll figures have grown consistently over the last 15 years for total equivalent payroll paid in the city of Hopkinsville. The number is up from roughly $425 million in 2004, to now, just under $850 million. Even though growth slowed to about three percent this year, and two percent last year, the goal of being a billion-dollar payroll city in the next couple years is not out of reach. The already strong tourism sector soared to un- precedented heights, as Hopkinsville welcomed the world on August 21st, 2017 to view the total solar eclipse from the city’s lucrative location on the path of totality. A thousand hotel rooms were sold out before eclipse day. Throngs of people poured into public viewing sites, public and private campgrounds, and RV parks. Everything possible was done with public infrastructure to accommodate the crowds. That once in a lifetime experience brought in a massive injection of tourism dollars and more than a hundred thou- sand visitors from all over the world. The direct economic impact for the region was estimated at