With major road improvements nearing completion, a trail from downtown to Kentucky Dam Village underway and a yoga program for residents in the works, Calvert City took center stage at Marshall County's monthly "State of the Community" breakfast.
Officials said at the breakfast that they hope to improve the area's reputation for tourism and to use the promise of improvements to U.S. 641 to bring new business to the area.
Calvert City Administrator John Ward said he hoped to bring a continuous flow of activities to the downtown area.
"Events bring you downtown for one day or a couple days. Ongoing activities … are what makes that downtown thrive," Ward said, specifically pointing out the planned yoga program, which he expects to be free for residents.
Ward also mentioned other improvements, including major road work that's winding down and making way for improvements to the area's secondary roads.
The town, he said, has also switched to more energy-efficient LED lights and found multiple unused electrical services that it's been able to cut.
He also brought up the town's new marketing director, Blair Travis, who highlighted continued work on the trail that will qualify Calvert as a Trail Town.
"It's really exciting for us because it offers more trails for our residents … and people that like to visit here," Travis said.
Ward said Calvert is developing into "a more pedestrian and bike-friendly neighborhood," and that he hopes to make the area a destination in itself and give it lasting power even if the industry base of the community eventually shifts away.
"We also have to look toward our future, a future that may or may not have an industrial base. Industries come and go," Ward said.
"You have to have something else. Tourism … it's a no-brainer."
Ward also mentioned planned development for the Calvert City at Kentucky Dam State Park Airport, which he expects to receive FAA certification next year.
"We expect that it will be certified, and then available for FAA funding in 2021," Ward said, noting the airport will supply both aviation gasoline and jet fuel.
Kentucky Dam Village Park Manager Scot Ratzlaff and Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal both spoke about sewer upgrades in the works, some of which Ratzlaff said haven't been upgraded in a century.
"It's not sexy but it needs to happen," said Ratzlaff of the $5.6 million project at the park.
He also said Kentucky Dam Marina, which suffered damage during severe storms in late June, is "going to be almost a brand new marina by the time they're done."
Neal focused on the need for cooperation among communities within Marshall and even among counties, citing its support of Calloway County's bid on the U.S. 641 project.
"Tying into (Interstate) 69 is just going to help our community," Neal said, adding it will likely bring "great marketing advantages."
"I'm a big supporter of working together," Neal said, also referencing sewer and water projects countywide, encouraging municipalities to find ways to share costs and get work done more efficiently.
"If we can work together to cost share, it's not only going to get done more efficiently but it's also going to benefit taxpayers," Neal said.
Marshall County Sheriff's Deputy Jody Cash also addressed the group, giving updates on drug enforcement activities countywide.
"We have just this year since the sheriff (Eddie McGuire) has taken over, we've seized approximately 20 pounds of crystal meth in Marshall County," he said, along with six vehicles and over $25,000 in cash.
Cash said the area has made "a lot of progress" on the drug front, and has initiated 45 prosecutions on drug trafficking charges.
He added the county has added three new school resource officers, bringing the total to eight, and estimated that three more would be brought on by the end of 2020, allowing for one full-time resource officer to be positioned in every school.
Cash also said he expects by the end of next year, the sheriff's office's entire fleet of cars is expected to feature a blue and orange color scheme.