Tribune-Courier News Reporter
Among the many items discussed last Wednesday at the annual State of the County Chamber of Commerce breakfast was the need for continued economic growth in Marshall County – a mission that officials countywide say is an ongoing challenge.
Representing Marshall County Judge/Executive Mike Miller at the event was County Commissioner Bob Gold who said continued economic development was vital and something that required attention, but that Marshall County is headed in the right direction.
“We’ve come out of the 08 and 09 economic implosion and we’re still recovering to some extent,” he said.
Gold said since the county’s focus is on development, next year there will be a push for marketing industrial sites better, which could bring in industry.
“The first thing we need to do is keep the industry that we have, which is made possible by investment in the area,” he said. “This roughly saved 245 jobs. A lot of these investments aren’t creating jobs but are retaining the jobs we do have which is the first step.”
He said the county is in the midst of several projects that would improve economic viability, but noted the first step to continue growth is maintaining a high standard of education.
“We do have something going for us, more so than a lot of counties and if you ask my wife – she hates stories when I start with my wife, but she would tell you if you want to bring someone out of their economic hardships and bring them up to a better citizenry you do it with education,” Gold said. “We need to make sure we do that and remember that our school system recently, through the MAP testing, was shown to be the fifth district out of 173 districts in Kentucky. Our teachers and our superintendents are all doing a great job and hopefully that’s going to spin off into more economic development.”
Gold also spoke about the progress of the Marshall County Health Department building, which has a projected completion date in April, praised the road and refuse departments for their work clearing the roads during the icy weather several weekends ago and thanked county park employees for their work on the park system in Marshall County.
Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars told Chamber members the public will begin to see more Chevrolet Tahoes on the road, as his department replaces vehicles.
“The Tahoe costs about $4,000 more, but all of the new vehicles are more expensive,” he said. “The Tahoes actually get better gas mileage than the Crown Victoria and they’re a pursuit package vehicle too, which means it has a low probability of roll overs in high-speed pursuits.”
Calvert City Administrator John Ward said his city’s efforts this year have focused on improving the parks system and road infrastructure.
“We’re trying to bring in things that will appeal to everyone,” Ward said.
Among improvements, he said, are a disc golf course, volleyball court, and cornhole games. He said the city is also working on a plan to provide wifi throughout the parks system.
Incoming Chamber president Jeff Smith announced new board members.
Daniel Slayden, owner of Parcell’s Deli and Bakery; Bryan Seaford, owner of Polaris of Benton; and Robert Parker, of AES Environmental, LLC in Calvert City, will begin serving a three-year term in January.