2018 State of the County Address
Click "Continue Reading" below to read Judge Executive Donald Carroll's 2018 State of the County address.
Good afternoon and thank you for joining us at this 2018 State of the County Address.
I’d like to thank the First United Methodist Church for allowing us to use their facility and the Country Cupboard for preparing the delicious meal we just enjoyed. I’d also like to thank the Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce for organizing this event, allowing us the opportunity to present information to you today. They do exceptional work on behalf of businesses in the County, and are a crucial partner in our community.
It is always an honor to share the podium with the Honorable David Jackson, Mayor of the City of Madisonville, and other Mayors of our County.
It’s hard to believe that I am here for my final State of the County address, as my term and twelve years as Hopkins County Judge Executive will conclude at the end of the year. In 2006, when I first got into this race, I didn’t know that I would be standing here nearly 12 years later. I love this County and have been blessed by being allowed to serve it.
I would like to thank my family members who are here and the mayors, city officials, magistrates, and elected officials in attendance. Fellow County employees, your service and sacrifices to keep Hopkins County operating first-rate are acknowledged and always appreciated.
Along with joy, life brings sadness, and during my tenure in office we have lost some dear friends and two of our magistrates, Larry Rogers and Linda Todd. They will always be remembered in our hearts.
I would also like to offer my greetings to the people of Hopkins County. Thank you for electing me to serve. To every individual who has worked with me during my time in office, you have my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude. We, as members of the Fiscal Court, have done our best to make sound, informed decisions, to improve the lives of all people, and to conduct our business and fiscal responsibilities with sound planning and integrity.
We began January 2007 emphasizing teamwork, utilization of County
resources, establishing goals and anticipating achievements, the successful completion of pending projects, and overall government efficiency. The same emphasis continues today.
Our record is supported by positive audit findings, the rating of financial institutions, and successful initiatives and projects.
All this has been achieved through the collective effort of our hard-working County employees and colleagues on the Fiscal Court. Thank You.
While we have had numerous successes, we know challenges remain. I am confident that the administration to be elected and take office next January will continue to expand on the programs and projects we have begun. I wish them well.
In reviewing the past 11 years, I am delighted with the cumulative achievements we have made utilizing Coal Severance Funds.
Decreased coal production in Kentucky has directly resulted in less funding to the 36 coal producing counties, but since January 2007 we
have received more than $15 Million in funding that has been used in 5 designated areas:
Public health and safety,
Information technology development and access, and
Public water and wastewater development.
These funds cannot be used for county recurring expenses or working capital, to underwrite general governmental activities, or for any activity that does not comply with “public use”.
Let me summarize some of the accomplished projects by category:
Public health and safety:
Equipment for Emergency Management
School key lock and key card systems for all high,
elementary, and middle schools,
Weather warning sirens for cities
Volunteer fire department projects
Vehicles and equipment upgrades for the Road
Department and Sheriff’s Office
Construction of Road department building
Construction of Humane Society building
Design of North Industrial/Recreational Park
Equipment for MCC Science & Technology Center
MCC-coal employment workforce development project
Support of School Counts
Enhance Senior Citizen’s Center in Madisonville & White
Construction of Ballard Convention Center
Local library upgrade/repair
Various City projects like parks, city hall, library & museum
Rosenwald-Smith Multicultural Center Renovation
Study to relocate RR tracks out of City of Madisonville
Sports Complex site preparation
West Kentucky Archery Complex
Convenient Center project
Information technology development
Code Red emergency warning system to households
Public water and wastewater development
Projects for various cities and North Hopkins Water District
Funding for South Main Interceptor Sewer Project
Permanent water/sewer line for Jennmar & J-Lok Bldgs
City of Earlington water & sewer project
Other various achievements have included Construction of New Judicial Center at no cost to the County, Construction of the West Kentucky ATV Recreational Area, establishment of a web site to provide information to the public, and activation of the Historic Courthouse chimes. We created a Nuisance Ordinance which has resulted in the cleanup or demolition of several properties, began the home incarceration system, and created a Cemetery Preservation Board.
In the past year,
Named Accredited Law Enforcement Agency for first time,
Added K 9 to its ranks,
Continues to get more drugs and drug dealers off the streets,
Serious crimes have been reduced by 12/5% from prior year,
Getting new body cameras and new impound building nearly
Jail: Body Image Scanner purchase,
New Security Control Panel System being installed,
Inmates have provided $1.3 million in community service projects
County Clerk’s Office: Since January 2017, they have processed over
800 passports resulting in nearly $20,000 in revenue, not to
mention the addition service provided to our residents.
We will not soon forget one of the most traumatic events of the past 11 years, the 2009 ice storm and the darkness and cold of January 27th. The major recovery efforts cost our County unreimbursed expenses of nearly $451,000, but with the coming of spring and the fortitude of nature, our beautiful landscape demonstrated our resiliency and spirit.
It’s one thing to run through a laundry list of many of the things we’ve done, but ultimately, the true test is the impact they continue to make on our citizen’s lives. We strive for excellence – that is our responsibility. It is easy to accept mediocrity. It is hard to demand excellence, but that is what the citizens of this great County deserve.
Let us look to the future. We are fortunate to have a healthy private sector and economic base with a diverse mix of jobs and employers. Our Economic Development efforts are active and continue as we seek to pursue and attract new employers and industries to our area. This is an ongoing and difficult task, but the reward of ultimate success is beneficial to each of our communities.
We must continue to be a sound choice for industries who are seeking a new headquarters, for visionary entrepreneurs thinking about the best location to start a new business, and perhaps most importantly the, the young family trying to decide upon a place to settle down and raise their children. Let us join in making Hopkins County that place. We are also proud of our non-profit sector. These agencies faithfully continue to provide essential service to our most vulnerable residents, giving assistance and hope where it is needed most.
I know we will continue to have an unsurpassed combination of excellent schools and educational institutions, first-rate healthcare, outstanding parks and recreational facilities, fine arts and cultural opportunities, and sound public services. Each of these is vital in making us both competitive in the marketplace and beneficial to families who have chosen to call Hopkins County “home”.
We are grateful for our partnership with those of you in this room and in our communities. As we look forward to the rest of the year, I call upon each of you to join our task of ensuring that succeeding generations will enjoy the same opportunities, and be inspired by the same dreams we’ve experienced. We owe them nothing less and will continue our efforts with emphasis on fiscal management, education, city and community projects, industrial development, and public safety.
I want to assure you that your Fiscal Court continues to seek information and work with other agencies and individuals for the betterment of Hopkins County. We are cognizant of the face that the key to our success as a County is the strength of our community – the interconnected web of businesses, Nonprofits, educational institutions, health services, government, and citizens.
In conclusion, let me say that Hopkins County has a past to be proud of, a most active present, and a promising future. Let us continue to think big because big thinking precedes big achievement.
To my colleagues across all political parties; continue to serve our people with dignity and pride, remembering that you are serving your nation, and that is a privilege. Together we can make a difference.
At the conclusion of this year, my service to all of you will be over, but the wonderful memories, the lessons learned, and the achievements we have made together will stay with me always.
May God continue to bless you and may God always bless Hopkins County. Thank you.