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Public input stressed at Hawesville Town Hall meeting March 4th

The Hawesville City Council met on Tuesday, February 13th, and Hawesville City Controller Jake Powers is encouraging everyone in the community to please attend the Town Hall Meeting on Monday, March 4th at the Hawesville Methodist Church Hall at 6 p.m. A large public attendance at this meeting is one of the KEY points that will determine funding toward Brownfield redevelopment and downtown revitalization.

This new opportunity is part of a partnership between the University of KY’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of KY (CEDIK) and the KY Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Dept. of Environmental Protection Brownfield Program.

Powers attended the KY Brownfield Program Bootcamp last year and has been working with GRADD DRA Program Advisor Jakob Marsh, Downtown Revitalization Coordinator with CEDIK Shane Barton, and Education and Outreach Coordinator at EEC Kiersten O’Leary. They and Powers have already documented Brownfield sites in the City of Hawesville, and all 3 plan to attend the Town Hall Meeting in March. The public turnout at that meeting will show the community’s excitement and engagement, which is what will attract the most funding for this project.

“It’s very important that the community come out and get engaged in that,” Powers said. “That’s a large aspect of this grant we’re applying for on the Brownfield so we’ll need as many people to turn out for that as possible. If you can, please spread the word on that. The Fire Dept. is doing a donation Spaghetti Dinner beforehand, if you’d like to come out for that as well.

Since the last council meeting, we were awarded the KDLA Record Retention Grant. It was $10,492 (no match grant) for the 2 fire proof filing cabinets. We’ll be receiving a check for those in the next few weeks. That will go directly to the cabinets and delivery of them.” This will keep the City’s records organized, filed and fire-proofed.

Fiber Internet in City of Hawesville

“I’m now in negotiations with Comcast Xfinity to provide all of our city with fiber internet,” Mayor Rob McCormick announced. “I have a meeting with them next week.”

New City Clerk

Amy Roberts was hired and approved by the court as the new Hawesville City Clerk. “Amy Roberts brings to the table 15 years of experience from (Hancock County Clerk)Trina Ogle’s office as a clerk,” McCormick said, “and 5 years experience in (County Attorney) Paul Madden’s office.

The City Clerk/Treasurer in Lewisport (Carrie Dixon) worked with Amy and Jake Powers today on how they do things. It helped tremendously. We’ve had GRADD coming in. We’ve been given 3 great contacts for them and one actually writes the budget for GRADD in Owensboro. We are working towards getting everything in line. We look forward to the future of that.”

Police Chief Presented Plaque

“Cody, I want to welcome you,” McCormick said in presenting Hawesville Chief of Police Cody Axton with a plaque, “You’ve been here awhile as Chief of Hawesville. I look forward to working with you, and I know the future administration will love to work with you for many years. What you’ve done, I’m really proud of. Congratulations.

I’ve coached this young man. I’ve watched him excel over the years. There’s been absolutely no exception here, he’s excelling at this. You will learn of some of the things he has going that he thought of on his own and brought to the table. Our Chief doesn’t just sit in a car and watch people go by everyday. He spends time on projects that can better our community. He’s out at night, on 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. shift. We haven’t had a police chief in a long time that’s worked different shifts.”

Random Business Check

Axton explained a new Random Business Check he has initiated saying, “I go around to each business and they put all of their information on this card. This is so if we have an alarm come out to that business I know before I get there who I’m going to talk to. They can also sign up for random business checks and if I’m working nights I can check if doors are locked and look on the sheet to see who I need to call if a door is unlocked so I don’t tie-up dispatch asking for that info.”

Citizen’s Police Academy

“The second thing I’ve proposed is a Citizen’s Police Academy,” Axton said. “We did this when I worked in Warren County. It bridges the gap between what we do as law enforcement and what the community sees. It has: investigate a mock crime scene, mock traffic stops, tour of a judicial center, criminal justice system, how the courts work, patrol operations, communications, fire arms training and just training in general, investigations, why we prosecute DUI, traffic stops, and all of these things we deal with that the public might now know. A lot of people don’t know that we go back to school once a year for 40 hours per KRS.

I’m really excited about it. We’re going to do 3 weeks starting May 6th, on Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. That may change depending on the amount of attention that this gets. There will be an application process. Everybody will need to be 18 or over and no prior convictions, felony convictions. This leads into getting people in the county interested in law enforcement.”

Axton said he is working to get the HC Sheriff’s Department and Lewisport City Police Dept. involved, and to come out and present on that project as well. He will be posting flyers and information on upcoming events of this nature, and they will be posted in the Clarion so keep an eye out and get involved.

Community Center/Park

“The yellow house next to the Hawesville Fire Station is paid for,” McCormick said. “We just need to get it in shape to where we can lease it or rent it out. I’ve heard different prices thrown around on how many bedrooms and things like that, anywhere from $800 to $1,000 a month. We’ll just have to wait and see. I plan on talking to Mr. Gooch to see what something like that could lease for. That gives us a revenue.

That goes against the park plans. I take the blame on that because I didn’t realize the house was in as good of shape as it is. We do have the potential of another piece of property being signed over to us. It’s an ideal place for a Community Center in the City of Hawesville and there is room to put a park to the west side of the property, here on Main Street.

The folks that are purchasing this want to develop it hugely. We’re looking at more tax revenue coming from that location, more utilities. It’s going to give us a better aesthetic look in our city. We’re excited about this because it could be really big for Hawesville to develop that area.”

Fire Dept.

Hawesville Fire Chief Shane Richards reported, “For our January report, the total number is 43 runs – 36 total fire calls and 7 calls for rescue, that is us assisting the other departments in the county in rescue operations. Thursday, February 15th, we’ll start the Spring KY Forest Fire Hazard Season, that’s our No Burn Season for the spring time, and that runs Feb. 15th through April 30th, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. City ordinances still apply. Our brush fires we usually get will increase with that coming time. Our brush truck, 205 is getting close to being completed, just in time for fire season starting up. County Truck Engine 204 is in Evansville getting repairs done. We should get it back the end of this week.”

Mayor’s Closing Comments

“Our City Municipalities Superintendent Brian Patterson is on vacation this week and he couldn’t be here and asked me to speak for him,” McCormick said. “He took it on his own to go out and get quotes on chemicals. He’s actually got the numbers that will save us money. We’re saving at least 15 percent per bag of fluoride and others.

I’m proud of this team we have. They are taking the ball and running with it. I didn’t ask Brian to do that. He did it on his own. That’s what makes me proud is that they go out and do those things on their own.”

By Jennifer Wimmer

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