From the Judge's desk

County Judge/Executive -
Kevin Neal
I wanted to update you on several exciting projects that the Fiscal Court has been working on over the past several months. We all know that our county sanitation has been on a long road to recovery, but we are finally getting closer to implementing the construction phase of the overall sanitation expansion in Draffenville and completing the lift station project in Aurora. We hope to take bids in March for construction and be moving dirt by April. The project is scheduled to be complete by late September. As for the Aurora lift station project, the contractor is finishing up the project with an anticipated completion date in April. Each one of these projects are greatly needed for our sanitation infrastructure. It will enable us to stay within the limits required by our permit, and it will also allow us to be ready to attract new businesses to Marshall County.

I have also been working with Jonathan Creek Water District to help identify their priorities. Currently, the Brewers water tower does not have enough customers to utilize the amount of water that is stored in the tank. So, the district has planned a line extension to pick up new customers on Duncan Creek Road and part of Jack Treas Road. The project funds can cover the labor and material but not the engineering cost. I asked the Fiscal Court to fund the engineering cost on this much needed project and they approved my request. We hope to have this project completed soon. Jonathan Creek Water District has many critical projects to complete, and funding these projects are going to be a challenge. However, I feel that with a good plan and a dedicated team in place we can start to move this district forward.

I budgeted to send engineers to the Oak Level area to identify if Benton Water can get water to the Oak Level tower with Benton’s current infrastructure. Rivercrest Engineering, with the assistance of Benton Water employees, has completed their study and the findings are encouraging. Rivercrest reports, that with the current infrastructure, the tower can be filled. Benton Water District would have to make some changes with current valves and add some new sensors that are automated, rather than manual, to cut down on labor costs. I have met with Mayor Dotson and her staff, and they are actively seeking information on who is currently on the system and who is close to being added to the system. I know I spoke to many of you in Oak Level who want water, and this is the first step in making that happen.

I have spoken with engineers about completing a comprehensive water plan for Jonathan Creek. This will allow me to identify what projects, over the course of a few years, need to be prepared for execution.

I have tasked the new E911 Director, LaDonna Coriell, to identify an accurate operations cost for E911 to include an upgrade of their communications system. LaDonna and Brian Andrus worked with Lee Lemoine, Modular Communications, to identify our specific communication needs within the county. We expect a presentation next month in Fiscal Court and look to continue to move the E911 initiative forward. I personally think that Marshall County will be a regional E911 in the future. After many hours of researching our capabilities and speaking with many of you, there is no doubt that we can lead the regional concept in western Kentucky. I look forward to helping make that goal a reality. There will be more information coming soon on E911.

Another big announcement was the Southwest One Industrial Park option approved by myself and the commissioners. With the hard work of Economic Director Josh Tubbs, we are making this long-awaited goal a reality. I pledged that if I was elected I would do what I could to make this a reality. A 300-acre industrial park will give us a product to market to companies who are looking for a new place to call home or existing companies to expand. We look to hear back soon from Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering on the due diligence studies that they have been working on. By partnering with TVA, the City-County Industrial Board, and others, we look to have a great product to promote. The TVA and the State Economic Cabinet can also promote and market the park to potential companies.

There are many other things that have been accomplished within our county government, and we look forward to completing many more. I’m very proud of our employees, and I am encouraged that Marshall County will continue to move forward. It’s a privilege to continue to serve you.

Judge Neal