meeting mayor1MADISONVILLE, Ky. (7/10/13) – Hopkins County Chamber members heard remarks from the county's and the city's highest ranking elected officials at special State of the City/County Address luncheon meeting Tuesday, July 9 at the Madisonville Country Club.
 
The elbow-to-elbow audience listened to updates from Madisonville Mayor David Jackson and Hopkins County Judge-Executive Donald Carroll during the program.
 
Jackson noted the city's debt reduction during his keynote address as being one of the foremost successes of his administration.
 
"How can we improve city government?" asked Jackson. "First of all, we have been very committed over the last three years to pay down city debt. The audit right before I came into office had our city debt right at $26.2 million. At the end of this fiscal year, the budget we're in right now, we will have paid down that debt to about $18.5 million. So, that's almost an $8 million reduction in the debt of a city."
 
Jackson said in the first year in office, his administration reduced the overall budget by $3.9 million.
 
"We have also reduced the workforce of the city by 10 percent to save as many dollars as possible and to be as efficient as possible," said Jackson. "But at the same time, we've also looked at the consumers and what we can do for you. We've saved the households and businesses in the city of Madisonville a million dollars by decreasing the amount of transfer from the electric department."
 
meeting carroll1The mayor referred to the percent of electric department transfers in profits from the sale of electricity generated by increases from Kentucky Utilities' rate increases. Prior to the meeting, Jackson said the city has made fewer transfers during the last three years.
 
"By tightening our fiscal belt and not going to the taxpayers for more and more revenue, we are committed to providing the best city services in the region in the most efficient manner," said Jackson.
 
Jackson said further commitments include bolstering the city's infrastructure including the kickoff of the north side pressure zone that will be developed over the several years. The program will accommodate further expansion in the north side area with sufficient water pressure.
 
The mayor also touted the success of the single stream recycling effort, (See http://surfky.com/index.php/news/local/hopkins/33952-madisonville-reduces-carbon-footprint-through-recycling), the advanced technology of the Madisonville Police Department and the success of the Go Madisonville customer service program.
 
Carroll also focused on the positive aspects of county government during his address but likewise mentioned some of its struggles.
 
As is custom for Carroll, he started his speech with a bit of humor.
 
"It's nice and warm in here, so I know before we get out of here, you'll agree to a tax increase," said Carroll.
 
The judge-executive spoke about his connection with the county's early history and ancestors from St. Charles. Then he focused on the accomplishments over the past year.
 meeting5
"It is appropriate that we look back on the last year and what we've been able to accomplish," said Carroll. "It hasn't always been smooth sailing, yet, we, the Fiscal Court, have led, governed, managed tax dollars, and made some difficult decisions that have kept our fiscal house in order. And, our fiscal house is in order."
 
The judge-executive said Hopkins is a very stable county and that no services have been cut while taxes have not been raised for county services.
 
"We are blessed with a stable employee base," said Carroll.
 
Financial concerns have been on the minds of Hopkins County residents, he said.
 
"Not only have too many people lost their jobs and homes, but their savings and retirements," Carroll said. "Too many businesses have closed or are struggling to stay open. We know our citizens are hurting as we see record numbers of residents seeking help to pay their rent, utilities and other necessities."
 
Signs indicate that the economy is improving from the depths of the recession three years ago, he said. The county's unemployment rate has gone from 8.4 percent in May 2012 to 7.8 percent in May of this year.
 
"Although it might not seem a huge reduction, it's a reduction," he said. "And, that is good news to the family units affected."
 
Carroll said another economic disappointment resulted from reduced coal severance funds. House Bill 265 line item projects amounting to $700,000 were not funded due to the reduction. Similar reductions are anticipated for Fiscal Year 2014, he said.
 
meeting6Some projects did receive coal severance funding including equipment for 14 volunteer fire departments, water tank repairs for Dawson Springs, improvements on water projects at Hanson and White Plains, city hall and park improvements for St. Charles, upgrades at the Ballard Convention Center, renovations at the Rosenwald Smith Multicultural Center and ATV park improvements in Earlington.
 
Carroll also mentioned upgrades at the Hopkins County Emergency Management Agency, the GIS Department including the Code RED Emergency Notification System and assisting the Hopkins County Sheriff's Office with web-based crime map, the Public Works Department upgrades and the new Public Works building on Laffoon Trail near the Hopkins County Detention Center.
 
The long-awaited Hopkins County Sports Complex will be entering Phase 2B construction with road sub grade preparation and earthwork, and proposals for a $3 million loan for the project will be opened Wednesday, July 10, he said. The Army Corp of Engineer's permit for the work to proceed at the site off the Pennyrile Parkway has been granted. (See http://surfky.com/index.php/news/local/hopkins/32411-fiscal-court-opens-bids-for-sports-complex-)
 
Carroll also noted the Hopkins County Attorney's County Attorney Traffic Safety online program, the Hopkins County Clerk's document scanning project and the Hopkins County Detention Center's 57,000 hours of contributed community service.
 
Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Most Read This Week

July 27, 2015 6079

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3819

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News
July 30, 2015 3581

Webster Man Leads Police on Chase through Parts…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 3568

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 2721

Hanson, Owensboro, Bowling Green Youths Win at…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 17, 2015 16480

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 15441

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

August 01, 2015 2376

24th Annual Miss Teen Hopkins County Fair Pageant…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 2232

Little Miss, Mister Hopkins County Fair Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 1672

'Diggers' Return to Find More Hatfield-McCoy…

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 1197

Knight Crowned 2015 Miss Pre-Teen Hopkins County…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 1034

One Injured in Vehicle Roll-Over Accident

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 713

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 574

South Korean Automotive Supplier INFAC North…

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 565

Who Will Be America's Next President?

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 501

Commissioner Comer Honors Kentucky Farmers'…

by SurfKY News