June 13, 2006, News
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City Council hears annual budget
By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last Monday the Vanceburg City Council heard the 17th and last annual budget address by Mayor William T. "Bill Tom" Cooper. Cooper is not running for re-election.
Cooper said, "I am honored that you, the citizens of Vanceburg, have allowed me to serve as your mayor. I hope that I have served to your satisfaction."
He reflected on a number of projects he has seen completed during his 17-year tenure as the city's chief executive. Among those projects he listed the City Building, the over $1 million provision of inexpensive and adequate housing on Town Branch, the Veterans Memorial Park, the refurbishing of the Vanceburg Depot, the day care center, the renovation of the George Morgan Thomas House, the Hospice building, the Green Street Apartments, the sale of the land for the Extension Office, the remodeling of the fire station on Front Street, the purchase of the upstairs over Hickle's Pool Room to save that old building and the acquisition of new street trucks and salt spreaders.
At this point Cooper reminisced that when he first came into office the city workers were spreading salt from the back of pickup trucks.
He continued by mentioning the purchase of new garbage packers, new trash dumpsters and recycling containers for curbside pick up. He added that the city owns its own backhoe, new sidewalks downtown, a new fleet of police cruisers and two new police computers.
Cooper expressed his gratefulness to all those who served as members of the city council over the years and said, "We've accomplished a lot."
Cooper then presented the new annual budget and began by saying that this budget is the largest the city has ever had with total appropriations of $3,696,502.
Regarding federal projects and community development he said that the carry over from the Commercial Hotel is $125,000; Streetscape and downtown lighting, $250,000; Carter House Hotel downtown, $1,800,000; and sidewalks for the south end of town, $250,000.
In the General Fund for the fire department Cooper noted $475,000 for a new ladder fire truck and $134,000 for a new firehouse on the south end of Vanceburg.
Also in the General Fund, in the Street Department he has $17,500 in the Sanitation Fund and $45,000 for a new maintenance building.
City Attorney E.V. Holder then read the actual budget ordinance.
The council authorized Cooper to enter into an agreement with Brandstetter and Carroll, Inc., Lexington, for architectural services for the Carter House Hotel restoration project. He pointed out that the architects have to prepare and submit the necessary paper work in order to apply for the grants to fund the project.
Holder gave first reading to an ordinance amending the salaries of the mayor and elected officials. The salaries are set in the budget ordinance every year but this ordinance needed to be updated. It officially establishes the mayor's salary at $20,000 per year and the city council members' salaries at $2,400 per year.
Cooper pointed out that Vanceburg is one of 82 Kentucky communities that were honored as newly certified Kentucky Main Street/Renaissance On Main communities in a ceremony on Wednesday, May 31, at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville.
He announced that work on the George Morgan Thomas House is a little behind schedule but is still progressing well.
Cooper emphasized that Lewis County and Vanceburg are still in the running for the construction of an AEP power plant at Carrs. He said that he and Phil Kennedy recently met with Governor Ernie Fletcher and State Senator Charlie Borders and were informed that a site in Ohio is in the leading position with Lewis County a close second. The company plans to build two power plants to meet the increased demand for power in the region.
Cooper said that he believes the community will get a power plant built and he expects an announcement about that in 2007. The power plant needs to be online by 2011.
He also informed the council that a couple of years ago the Recreation Board of the county received a grant of $75,000 to develop 32 acres in Black Oak between the Industrial Park and the river. He said if a crossing wasn't built to that property the county could lose that money. However, he believes that will be accomplished and that project continued.
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Homeownership foundation of rural development
By Kenneth Slone, USDA Rural Development State Director in Kentucky
How many times have you considered homeownership a part of rural economic development? The truth is, without affordable, safe and adequate housing for rural residents, economic development will struggle to succeed. While this development can mean so many things, at its foundation is a community's ability to provide its residents with decent, safe and affordable housing.
Ensuring that all people, including families, elderly and disabled residents, living in rural communities have affordable and safe housing has been a top priority of USDA Rural Development for more than 70 years. In fact the Bush Administration has invested $21.4 billion to help nearly 250,000 rural families become homeowners.
June is National Homeownership Month, a time to reflect on the important role homeownership plays in American society, especially in rural America. Homeownership is a bedrock of the American economy, helping to increase jobs, boost demand for goods and services and build prosperity.
So far this year, Rural Development has invested $1.7 billion nationwide to help more than 21,000 families buy a home. This investment is part of the reason the homeownership rate for non-metropolitan areas is 76.1 percent compared to 68.8 percent for the entire nation. During this year in Kentucky, we have provided over $100 million in housing assistance to help more than 1,125 families in becoming homeowners.
Since 2001, over $880 million has been invested in helping 12,744 rural Kentucky families with their housing needs.
Rural Development's housing programs finance new or improved housing for low- to moderate-income families and individuals who wish to live in rural areas or communities. The purpose of the programs is to provide financing with no down payment and at favorable rates and terms.
Each family has a different story to tell. In Hazard, John Pittard is very grateful for the many people who did not give up on him. Looking back at his life, he stated that he didnít feel anybody cared and is quoted as saying, when he was homeless, "he felt like a piece of furniture" which could be picked up easily and moved from place-to-place. He has roots now in his new house -- a home for his children and family members to visit. He shares his excitement with others and lets them know that help is out there if they are willing to work for it and, of course, have faith.
Both guaranteed and direct homeownership loans are offered. Under the direct loan program, individuals or families receive a loan directly from Rural Development. Guaranteed loans are made by other lenders, such as banks, mortgage companies or credit unions, and are guaranteed by our agency.
In addition to helping with homeownership, we also have loans and grants available to help low-income families and the elderly make needed house repairs so that they can remain in their own home.
In Bullitt County, Larry Baker's wife, Judy, was very ill; the family had no heat. Judy became even more ill, resulting in a trip to the hospital.
Larry remarked, "Doctors informed me that I had to get some heat in the house before she could come home. I wanted her to come home for Christmas, because I was afraid this would be our last Christmas together."
Just days before Christmas, the Bakers' loan closed. On December 22, 2005, the furnace was installed. Larry stated, "Judy came home two days before Christmas and she was really happy to be home. The heat was our Christmas present. It was a big Christmas."
I grew up in the head of a holler, without a bathroom or running water. That is why our housing program is so very important to me. I would like to see all rural Kentucky citizens have affordable and safe housing -- this has also been a top priority of USDA Rural Development for more than 70 years.
For many of us, being able to go to sleep each night in a safe and comfortable home is something we take for granted. However, this is not the case for many rural Americans.
Rural Development is committed to the future of rural communities and to helping as many people as possible achieve the American Dream. This month we are proud to celebrate homeownership and the roll it plays providing security for children, stabilizing neighborhoods and helping to create stronger communities. Rural Development's motto for Homeownership Month is "Own Your Future".
For information about USDA Rural Development housing, business or community development programs please contact the Morehead USDA Rural Development Office, 220 West First Street, Morehead, KY 40351, 606-784-6447 or visit our web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ky. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
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Dummitt, McDaniel at State Championship
On Friday and Saturday. June 2 and 3, Marty Dummitt won the High Jump at the KHSAA AA State Track and Field Championship Meet.
He is now a two time State High Jump Champion, first ever in the history of Lewis County High School athletics and in any sport.
Brandon McDaniel took fifth in the shot put and seventh in the discus. He was the only male thrower to place in the top seven in both of the events at the meet.
The boys totaled 16 points and placed 13th overall as a team out of 36 teams that scored. Lewis County scored the highest total points for the fewest athletes for all AA boys schools.
Marty was named to the first team all state track team for the second year in a row. Marty and Brandon were also named to the All Ashland Area first team in high jump and discus.
Brandon was named second team all area for the shot put and the 400 meter relay team (4 X 100 m) of Jesse
Enix, Nathan Clark, Kenny Bare and Douglas "DJ" Jordan was also named to the second team all Ashland area.
Congratulations to all on this year's boys and girls track teams who broke school records and had personal best times and marks.
Good luck next year!
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Opportunity for jobseekers: Work Keys
Competing for jobs nowadays can be an exhaustive process. What do you have to offer that the next person doesn't? How do you make your resume stand out and be noticed? Work Keys may be what you need. Many employers are starting to use the Work Keys assessment as a pre-hire tool in addition to its use to improve opportunities for career changes and advancement.
The Work Keys assessment compares the skills of applicants & workers with the skills crucial to effective job performance in math, reading, and locating information. ACT Inc. developed Work Keys and they are a nationally recognized testing and evaluation source who has a long history of developing assessment tools for prediction of skills at both the college level and in the workplace.
In efforts to assist local jobseekers, the TENCO One-Stop Career Center is offering a one-time only, free testing session for individuals looking to shine above the rest and possibly add a valuable addition to one's resume. This Work Keys test could normally cost an individual up to $40.
Testing sessions will be held on Thursday, June 22, at 9:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the One-Stop Center in Maysville.
To schedule your Work Keys test time, call Pam McGlone at 606-564-6894, ext. 232. Space is limited and is on a first come-first serve basis. Call now!
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