The process of narrowing the number of candidates for the Maysville-Mason County Industrial Development Authority is getting started, according to board Chairman Dickie Butler.

The board is looking to replace Randall Lowman, who was released by the agency by mutual agreement in October. The reason for his departure has not been disclosed by the MMCIDA.

Lowman was named director of the agency in April following the retirement of longtime director Gene Weaver. A nationwide search for his replacement was conducted before Lowman was selected.

Butler said 10 or 11 applications for the position have been received and will be screened by the Oversight Committee. Interviews will be conducted with the four or five top candidates, he said, and those names and recommendations will be forwarded to the full board for consideration.

Starting salary for the position is $50,000 annually.

Meetings to discuss candidates could begin next week, Butler said, although he acknowledged he has not talked with other board members.

Originally, the agency hoped to have a director in place by mid-December, but with the holidays Butler said the decision was made to wait until everyone could fully focus on the matter.

"Be patient," Butler said. "We are working as hard as we can."

Butler said he hopes now to have a new director named by late January.

There are several projects in the works and Butler said earlier it is important to get someone on board as soon as possible.