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Hawesville Mayor Rob McCormick Speaks at Chamber Breakfast/Address of the Cities

Hawesville Mayor Robby McCormick

Hawesville Mayor Rob McCormick spoke at the HC Chamber of Commerce Breakfast/Address of the Cities Tuesday. He began with thanking HC Library Director Tina Snyder and staff at the libraries for helping with the Light Up the Square Christmas event in Hawesville last month.

“I also want to thank Mayor Gregory for his advice and guidance through this past year to get me up to snuff on what needs to be done,” McCormick added. “And I want to thank our Judge-Executive, Johnny Roberts. He has been there for phone calls at 10 o’clock at night, texts at 5 in the morning, and he’s never failed to help me out in answers.”

He said that most of all, he wanted to thank his wife, and that she is the “rock” behind his position as mayor. “She just does not get the recognition she deserves,” he said. “She has to listen to my concerns every evening so I want to thank her. I appreciate her giving me the ability to do this job.

I was trained years ago by a gentleman in management that when he sat me down he said, ‘You’ve got to put together a plan.’ Well, I put together this plan that I thought was the greatest plan in the world and then I took one step into City Hall and I threw it away because it’s all been reaction this year, Folks. We’ve tried to get to the point of proactive but it’s all been reactive.”

City Clean-Up

“That gentleman also taught me that the first thing you have to do is develop pride, whether it be in the workforce or anything you do. That was the first thing we had to do, was bring back pride to the City of Hawesville. So April 12th (2023) we had over 100 volunteers cleaning this town up,” he said.

“We hauled out over 42 dump truck loads of trash, and four, 40-yard rollbacks out of the city. We stepped in. We showed the people that we as a team wanted to make our city like it was, maybe, in the 80s possibly as far as the look of it.”

Code Enforcement

“We’ve had some very good things happen. Some of the people we helped have really done a great job of keeping their properties in check. Some, it’s a little slack. We’ve helped people and now it’s time for them tohelp themselves,” he stated.

“You can’t continue to help somebody that’s not helping themselves. We’ve got a Code Enforcement Board now. They will be meeting this Thursday (1-11-2024), and they will be issuing their first fine for our ordinances. We have to do that to bring our city up to level we want it.”

City Pride

“The pride is what I do feel like is our number one thing we’ve brought to this city. People are cleaning places that haven’t been cleaned before. Our city team, our municipality workers, are doing things they’ve never been asked to do before and they come up with these ideas. So we have the pride back in our community, Folks.

At Christmas, when I walked around Town Square it was such a great feeling to see,” he said. “People were all spread out over the Courthouse Square and it was exciting.”

Progress

“After pride, and you develop that pride then you can initiate progress, what comes second, is the progress,” he went on to say. “You sit down and start identifying your wants and needs. If we do things more efficiently, we can concentrate on our wants, which we are.

This team is working as hard as any I’ve ever coached. We’ve got progress going. We’ve got a sluice gate raised that was causing flooding in downtown Hawesville. We got the gate up and the water went flowing out the river perfectly. We saved over $4K a quarter in electric cost because we were pumping water out of the city constantly.

Cost savings forge a revenue stream. Did we set in this year and have to make some increases? Yes, we did. But we only affected the citizens by $5 a month.

We had an industrial level that hadn’t been looked at since 1988. That’s to nobody’s fault. These are things we’re digging into. So the revenue we’re now drawing off the water system and our services, we’re now gaining between $8K and $10K a month, which is a large increase for a city like Hawesville that’s been operating at such a low budget.”

Revenue Increases

“The other things we’re looking at is revenue increases in a possible city road tax for the semis that come from out of the county,” he said. “I talked to our local trucking companies. They will get a rate on the city road tax.

Agriculture will not be affected at all. What we’re trying to do is capture every truck that goes through the City of Hawesville because they’re tearing our roads up and they should be paying for that. We’re moving forward with that stream of revenue.

Another stream of revenue we just created – we’re losing 89,000 gallons of water a day. We’re only producing 300,000 a day. Our chemical costs, and we’re monitoring them for the next 6 months to get us a good number, but our chemical costs could drop by 30 percent, at least.

We’re very happy with these things that we’re moving forward to. Now, we’re at a point to where we can sit down and put together a solid, 2-year plan, a solid 4-year plan, and a solid 8-year plan, and feel confident in what we’re doing.

I couldn’t be more proud to be the Mayor of Hawesville, KY. Hawesville has always been dear to me. In the last 3 years, I’ve looked at it when I got back on the council and I saw the potential. We’re moving forward.”

Perseverance

“Once you have pride and you’re seeing some progress,” he continued, “and you’re actually able to sit down and put together a plan then perseverance is the persistency of moving forward no matter what. And, that’s what we’re doing.

We hit the ground running. I’ve got a staff that is impeccable. We’ve got a City Administrator (Jake Powers) we hired, he is City Controller now, he’s had a promotion from City Admin. He’s a young man and without him at my right side, none of this could be done. He does things that I could do in 4 or 5 hours and it takes him 15 minutes.

So perseverance is very important; and that’s what we are going to continue to do. This coming year, there’s going to be another hard decision to make. We’re going to have to look at some possible increases in our sewer. But with us having a commercial level now and an industrial level now, we can do this without it hurting anyone substantially.

The City of Hawesville, from last year to this year, we have accomplished – not what I wanted to accomplish but we’ve paid all of our past debts. We paid the last one yesterday. We owe no past debts now.

In the black

We will run in the black this year as a City by about 15 percent. That’s not much but we are moving forward and I’m happy with that. What I’m seeing, numbers wise, we will not be robbing Peter to pay Paul moving forward.

We’re drawing interest off our CDs now that are covering our cemetery accounts that we were totally broke on. We’re moving about $3,000 a month into our cemetery fund. Those cemeteries will be taken care of.

We’ve never carried over into the cemetery fund and now we’re at about $22K. The cost for the cemeteries, to have them mowed and taken care of, is about $38K. It’s expensive. The cemeteries are something that are dear to us.

In closing, I want to thank everyone because the support has been unreal.”

By Jennifer Wimmer

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