CCCDC reviews a year full of success

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By Dave Taylor

Former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and Carroll County Community Development Corporation Executive Director Joan Moore both spoke of community interests “pulling together as a team,” as Abramson said, to promote development interests in the local area during the CCCDC annual shareholder’s meeting, Jan. 18, at the General Butler State Resort Park. Board members were elected for the year at the close of the meeting.

In her annual report, Moore told the assemblage that the role of economic developers are changing. The new role of an economic developer, as defined by the Kentucky Institute for Economic Development, is that of “collaborative servant-leader,” she said.

“I believe that collaboration is not only the right thing to do,” Moore said, “it is the only way, in this economic reality, that anything of importance can ever be accomplished.”

Moore reviewed several successful projects in which the CCCDC was involved in 2010, all of which, she said, “were awarded grant funding as a result of successful collaborations.”

Early Head Start was a new program begun in 2010, which created 18 new jobs and serves 80 children. The program serves pregnant women, infants and toddlers to age three and their families with “an array of educational, social and health services,” Moore said. “This $2.2 million dollar grant would not have been possible without the successful collaboration of a dedicated school system team, CCCDC and the many community agencies providing services to children and families in our region.”

Another successful project was the Safe Routes to School project, the result of cooperation with not only the CCCDC and the school division, but city and county governments, the Cooperative Extension Service, Jefferson Community Technical College nursing students, the Carrollton Police Department, Three Rivers Health District “and other agencies interested in the health and safety of our students,” Moore said.

This project involved the completion of the new Schuerman Street, formerly known as the Polk Street Extension, and a newly-relocated entrance to Carroll County High School off Hwy. 227. All schools within the Carroll County District are linked via sidewalks. Moore said a traffic light, which was included in the grant proposal, is scheduled to be installed soon at the new high school entrance. Once completed, “the new road and sidewalk really will be a safe route to school,” Moore said.

Moore updated the corporation members about the progress of the Park to Park Trails project. She said the 30-member trails committee realized the need to break down the initial phase of development into two separate phases due to anticipated cost. She said the architect has been given approval to develop drawings for the revised first phase which will include an eight-foot-wide paved trail linking the county park to a new soft trail at General Butler State Resort Park.

Moore also worked with the school system to secure a five-year, $625,000 grant to assist the Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County Coalition in drug prevention efforts for local youth. The Carroll County School Corporation is fiscal agent for the grant.

Moore said CCCDC had worked with Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson to court several industrial prospects in 2010. Ten industrial and commercial leads were developed during the process, and 11 new businesses opened in Carrollton and Carroll County during the year. Three local industries began expansion plans, Moore said.

“The CCCDC wrote 12 grant applications in 2010, requesting $1,357,824 on behalf of Carroll County Fiscal Court, City of Carrollton, City of Ghent, the Carrollton Fire Department and the Carroll County Public Schools,” Moore said in summary. “As a result, our community was awarded $776,829 in new grant monies in 2010.”

In his remarks Abramson, congratulated the community on the “collaborative activities that city and county government, the business community, professionals and citizens care about and work on together. It doesn’t happen that way in a lot of communities around this country and around this Commonwealth.”

He stressed that community contains the word unity.

“As a community grows and expands everyone has an opportunity to be even more successful than in the past,” Abramson said. “The perfect example of this collaborative approach is your downtown revitalization program.” He called the approach to developing the river walk and the park trails project part of the community’s “vital core” and important aspects of offering a good quality of life in attempts to attract new business and industry to the local region.

“The development of what is unique in your hometown ends up making your hometown even more unique and more special,” Abramson said.
Retired realtor Jim Fothergill, reporting on behalf of the commercial committee, said a riverwalk has been a dream of local planners for many years, “and it finally looks like it’s going to come to fruition. We’ve looked a Madison and what a nice job they’ve done and we can do the same thing.”

Bill Osborne said the “biggest project” for the industrial committee in 2010 “was our acquifer. You could argue that our acquifer is our greatest asset or natural resource. In cooperation with the CCCDC as well as 10 other entities we initiated a study” of the acquifer. “The industrial committee entered into a joint funding agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey. It cost $110,000 for the study,” he said.

The USGS contributed 50 percent of the cost of the study, Osborne said. The field work was completed by the end of the year. All invested parties are to meet this month to learn the results of the study.

“I’ve been very proud of the accomplishments we’ve had,” CCCDC President Greg Goff said. “I want to thank everyone again for their participation. It shows what we can do together when we work hard.”

Goff will continue to serve as CCCDC president in 2011. Other board members elected during the meeting include: Goff, president and industrial representative; Roy Weeks, vice president and commercial representative; Malcolm Carraco, treasurer and financial representative; Jim Fothergill, secretary and commercial representative; Larry Tarvestad, Dow Corning, industrial representative; Dennis Raisor, individual representative; Mark Smith, chamber of commerce/individual representative; Ruth Baxter, at-large; Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson, government representative; Gene McMurry, government representative; Bill Osborne, Carrollton Utilities, ex-officio; Lisa James, Carroll County Schools, ex-officio; and Kanute Rarey, Carroll County Memorial Hospital, ex-officio.

The CCCDC was formed in 1982 to promote community development and improve the quality of life for all who live and work in Carroll County. Since then, the Carroll County Community Development Corporation has coordinated the development efforts of city and county governments, recruited new businesses and industries to Carroll County, assisted with the expansion of existing Carroll County industries, and worked to improve housing, education, and cultural opportunities.