MADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/2/14) — Madisonville Mayor David Jackson and Dawson Springs Mayor Jenny Sewell joined Hopkins County Judge-Executive Donald Carroll on stage for the Madisonville Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce cities and county state of the union addresses Tuesday, Sept. 2 in the First United Methodist Church in Madisonville.
All incorporated cities within Hopkins County were invited to speak about the state of their cities' affairs during the event.
Sewell told the chamber membership the people in Dawson Springs are looking forward to potential growth from I69 passing through the area with the city having an interchange. She also talked about the activities at Pennyrile State Resort Park and the advancement of the walking trail.
Also noted, were the improvements forthcoming from the Glen Abbey Crossing Housing Project in helping elders with convenient living arrangements, use of the city's airfield and an increase in the number of students enrolled in the Dawson Springs Public School System.
“There is a change in the air in Dawson Springs,” said Sewell. “Our schools have more students. We have a new Methodist minister and it's my understanding they were offered a church in Hopkinsville or one in Dawson Springs. And, they have four little children. They selected the church in Dawson Springs because of our schools.”
Sewell said the city has seen more jobs and some economic growth.
“With a lot of strategic planning, the anticipation of the completion of I69, a lot of hard work and good investments,” she said, “and, perhaps, just perhaps, the golden years of Dawson Springs have not yet truly been realized.”
Jackson reminded the chamber members about Madisonville's investments in the city's infrastructure included the waste water treatment plant, sanitation department and water projects.
“The quality of life is important not only to the city of Madisonville and the county, but as we aggressively work together to attract industry, it's important that we diligently work to improve the quality of life for our citizens,” said Jackson.
Jackson said the city has work diligently with the fire, electric, police, transportation, water distribution, waste water collection, code enforcement and parks systems.
“Each of theses departments serve our city not only to create a living environment for our citizens,” said Jackson. “But, they're also used as marketing tools for our existing business and industries in recruiting employees to come to the companies and as we recruit new businesses to come to our communities.”
Jackson spoke about the fire department purchases of two new pumpers purchased without borrowing money and a new $1 million for a ladder truck also without incurring debt.
“We haven't made any long term debt in the last four years,” said Jackson.
Carroll talked about the an improvement from 7.8 percent unemployment in July 2013 to 6.9 percent this July and that the county has maintained an excellent credit rating without raising taxes.
He also commended each county department for awards and recognitions each has received and especially about the Hopkins County Jail, where inmates are learning job trades and taking part in re-entry programs.
He touted the jail's recently acquired grinder/polisher machine that it will use to refurbish the cracked tiles inside the jail. Hopkins County Jail also has had donations of sewing machines from Carhartt that enables inmates to repair or create mattresses saving the replacement cost, said Carroll.
Carroll said the primary issue facing Hopkins County is getting more people educated to help lure more businesses and industries to the area.
He pointed out that early settlers to the county and city came for the opportunity to build a life for their families with farming being the primary business.
“Isn't that really what we want to do? To ensure life and work in Hopkins County for years to come? To get a good education,” said Carroll. “To earn a good living; to live in a safe and attractive community; to build a business; to be involved? To be free to choose. To make a better future for our children.”
The state of the county/city addresses presentation was moderated by Chamber President Lee Lingo, who thanked Owensboro Health as the hosting sponsor along with several businesses that sponsored tables.
Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director
SurfKY News Photo/Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Video/Gary Gates
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