The Council has two new members, Leon Shaw and Steven Elder took the seats previous held by Brenda Huffman and Steve Dennison.
Huffman resigned from the council because she was no longer a resident of the city and Dennison lost his bid for reelection in November.
Kelly Stevenson, Billy Dallas, Wales Montgomery and Jerry Schlosser are all returning for another term as council members of the city of Leitchfield.
In the past year the city leaders have been able to point to several projects and ventures that have accomplished that goal.
“We completed the Ronald Hudson Fire House this past year and have completed the Safe Sidewalk Project,” said Leitchfield Mayor William H. Thomason. “We were really blessed in grants this past year. One of those grants allowed us to complete a sidewalk on Wallace Avenue to give our kids a safe walk to school.”
An $800,000 grant allowed the city to install sewers in Fountain View Estates, with the second portion being completed by the end of this year or the beginning of next.
The city purchased 134 acres of land and annexed that into the city limits of Leitchfield. With the loss of one of the major factories in the city, tax revenue has dropped some but many businesses have opened their doors inside the city limits.
Sonic, Rite Aide and Renegade Marine moving into the city are all positive moves for the city.
The new Abney Eye Clinic and King Dental Clinic as well as McCubbin’s Furniture Store opening a post office branch all show growth in the city. Wendy’s opening and the Dollar Tree are both businesses that have been added to the city in the past few months
“These places may not be big factories but they employee people and that helps everyone,” said Thomason.
With the hiring of the new industrial consultant the mayor looks for more business in the area.
“Dudley Cooper is a real go getter,” said Thomason. “He had not even been here a month and had been visiting the current businesses in the area as well as looking at new businesses. He is a people person and I look for great things from him.”
As far as new projects for the future there are a few that are in the works but the city is holding off on new projects.
“Financially we are holding our own at the moment and we are working on completing the Firefighter’s Park with a pavilion. We are also working on the property on Kenneth H. Goff Drive,” added Thomason. “We received a grant to put in sewer, water and gas and run roads through there. When new industries are looking for a place to put their business they look at whether those things are in place.”
The city has sent plans to Frankfort to annex the high school and Lawler Elementary as well a few subdivisions that are in that area.
“The high school needs a new sewer system and the best way to accomplish that is to annex that area into the city,” said Thomason. “That is the main reason we are annexing that area.”
The needed repairs to the city swimming pool is also an issue the city council is facing.
With the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Safety Act taking effect in December of 2008 the city has found that it is not in compliance with this law and must do some repairs to the current pool.
The act is a federal law that helps eliminate the possibility of pool spa and water main drain entrapment and or entanglement.
This Federal law requires full compliance no later than December 20, 2008. Pool areas that do not comply with these regulations are required to be closed per the Federal Government.
During a recent city council meeting, members discussed the options and finding out what is the most cost effective way to keep the community pool open for the citizens of Leitchfield.
“We have had a few quotes but have a few more to look at,” said Mayor Thomason. “But what we have so far is a few estimates between $100,000 and $250,000 to repair what we have.”
The mayor said they were looking at the option of building a new pool but have not determined the cost yet.
“I have had several people tell me they would prefer an outdoor pool and some want to support the indoor pool of the Healthplex,” said Thomason. “What we have to do it look at the cost and what will benefit the most citizens. But in order to do this we are going to have to dip into our surplus some. “
The upcoming year will have many challenges and issues to overcome but the city council and the mayor of Leitchfield are aware of these issues and meeting them all as they come.