MADISONVILLE, Ky. (5/7/13) – This morning the Hopkins County Fiscal Court met to discuss some details pertaining to the building of the Hopkins County Sports Complex and some issues of the Public Library.
Recently, permits for the building of the Hopkins County Sports Complex were attained from the Army Core of Engineers. “Over the last few years, since the project began, there have been a lot of things that have been going out to the media and to the public that keeps going back and forth,” said 3rd District Magistrate Christopher Toney. “I have come to the conclusion that no matter what information or opinions that have been put out there, this project is going to happen. It’s going to be built right where it’s at, and the way it’s going to be built is the way it’s probably going to be built. There is nothing that I, or any of us will be able to do to stop that.”
“So what I have to do is except the things I can’t change and change the things I can. And what I can change is to be sure there is no more waste or irresponsible behavior will be going forward. And what I mean by that, is when I read the contract when this property was bought, we are already in breech,” stated Toney. “Right now we are right at five years, so what does that mean? It means if we do not have this property being used for recreational purposes within five years, DBC can purchase the property back for the price it was paid for, along with the gift value after all the tax payers’ dollars have been spent developing it. What I am here for is not negative; I’m not against the Sports Complex. I’m actually here to show my support for this. And if we are going to move forward, I want to move forward as a team. If for one second I feel like I am being lied too again or misrepresented, I’m going to call you out,” expressed Toney.
Michael Duncan, Community Development Director, and Toney have worked on several projects together and this situation is no different. “When you have brought me a project, have we not been able to sit down like men and discuss it and looked in ways that we can implement a procedure or policy or a job that needs to be done in an efficient manner that provides good service for the community but at the same time making sure we are not wasting money? Mr. Duncan, a part of your expertise in your field has been in construction and I think that’s why we have made a pretty decent team on these projects. I look at the financial aspect of it and your find the scope of any construction project. I’m going to ask of the Sports Complex Committee, develop a timeline of completion. I’m not going to ask a single person to make a donation of any caliber until they can see what our process is going to be and how we are going to get this project completed. They are going to ask that. This is how the process is going to go, I would like to see a timeline of completion, mapped out, of whatever needs to be done, and I would like to have that within a 90 day time frame.”
Duncan agreed with Toney and stated, “I can’t tell you exactly at this very minute how long it will take, but 90 days we could have a timeline.”
The timeline will give a better estimation of how much everything will cost along with how much time it will take to complete the project.
“What I am asking is for, on a moving forward basis, I would like the Sports Complex Board Committee that’s in place to work directly with my committee that I will chair,” said Toney. “This project has lacked leadership. And that’s not a negative thing. It’s just no one has really stepped up to take full control over this. I will do that. I will quarterback this project and carry it on my shoulders for at least the next 18 months.”
“My goal, is if we are going to build this project, that moving forward doing it on a positive, an open, transparent and honest policy. Make this project a good project for this community. Make it something we can all be proud of and done right. This project needs a solid foundation and that’s what we are going to build and whoever gets this project 18 months from now will have a solid foundation to finish the project off on,” Toney continued to express.
Toney also discussed the urgency of the KRS 11 Alpha .020 Sections 1A, C and D. “If there is any way you could potentially be viewed by anybody as some sort of public gain in this project or any project that is conducted by the government, you must recuse yourself and make sure you do it very clearly, make sure its within minutes for public records so no one can accuse you of anything inappropriate. I don’t like doing that, but the people in Hopkins County elected me to behold accountability. It’s not a fun job but that’s what they elected me to do. So I am going to ask these community leaders, you wanted this project, step up, it’s time for all of us to go to work and get this done.”
Everyone at the meeting was in agreement.
The last thing Toney wanted to express during the meeting was some issues involving the public library. “Lastly, what I am reporting here to my committee is there is some stuff out in the public that made it appear that possibly tax payer funds were used on the renovation project on the downtown library building. I investigated that, I had a private conversation via telephone with Mr. Wilcox who did give me a call after I sent him an email requesting him and the foundation to be here today. His response was he could not be here due to previous engagement but also the foundation does not have to honor my request since they are a private entity and not a public entity. That being said, I would like to report that no taxpayer funds have been utilized on the renovations on the downtown project.”
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