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Record of City Council Service

Current Member, Past Chair, Electric Committee

Committee has worked to address continuing electric power purchase cost increases from Kentucky Utilities, joining with nine other municipalities to negotiate alternate power purchase contracts at significantly more favorable rates than increases announced and projected for KU. With rate stabilization through the multi-city Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency, beginning in May 2019, Madisonville will be at a competitive advantage in the region for residential, commercial, and industrial electricity consumers, with a better power purchasing options continuing into the future.

Chair, Annexation and Zoning Committee

Committee has pursued changes to ordinances and handled zoning questions with an intent to better balance private property interests with zoning concerns, to give opportunity for healthy creativity and innovation in land uses within the city districts. Efforts are ongoing to better facilitate residential business and industrial development initiatives in the city, and address identified barriers to such growth.

Chair, Budget and Finance Committee

Committee, through the budget process, has steadfastly supported operating within budget restraints, “living below our means” (instead of beyond our means), not only avoiding additional debt for the city, but continuing to reduce the long term debt over the last almost eight years. The city now has no General Fund Debt, with total debt being reduced from $26 million to less than $9 million currently. This financial position allows more funds to be available for necessary city infrastructure maintenance and development. City real estate tax rates have actually been reduced as well.

Member, Economic Development Committee

Committee has worked in conjunction with the Madisonville – Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation to particularly encourage small business ventures, through such activities as the weekly 1 Million Cups Entrepreneurial Networking meetings, and the partnership with the EDC in development of the “Innovation Station” at the old train depot building adjacent to the rail line on W. Arch Street. This site provides small business start-up space and supportive resources for aiding success in such business ventures. Public-private partnership was engaged to create the First United Bank Plaza for supporting public events that draw in visitors and stimulate economic activity. Since January of 2018, 249 new jobs have been created through existing and new businesses investing $95 million, and some 80+ more jobs are anticipated to come about through another $83 million of business investment in the community.

Member, Property and Risk Management Committee

Efficient care and maintenance of the physical resources of the city are the focus of the property part of the committee concern, with the risk management side focusing importantly on employee health and safety. Substantial reductions in workers compensation insurance premiums have been achieved as a result of successful strategies implemented by the city Nurse Manager.

Member, Tourist Committee

Newly formed in 2016, this committee meets with the Tourism Advisory Board, drawn from a broad base of the community, to give direction to the use of revenues from the restaurant tax enacted by the city in 2015. Jointly with the Tourism Advisory Board, this committee is a forum for capturing the creativity and innovation of the citizens of our city to guide the funding of projects and events that will stimulate tourism and the related economic activity. These investments enhance the appeal of our community environment as a place to visit, to live, and to do business.

With a plan of 25% expenditure toward community events with regional appeal, and 75% expenditure toward infrastructure projects with community and tourist traffic appeal, the restaurant tax revenue stream has funded a broad array of activities to draw people into the community and stimulate the economy. The Infrastructure projects so far have included City Park improvements to the Elmer Kelley Baseball Stadium, the playground, and the addition of a miniature gold course, with the addition of a splash pad at the swimming pool in process. Additionally, with the County, renovation of the YAA youth baseball fields concession and bathroom facilities, the rehabilitation of the Madisonville Soccer Club fields and renovation of the concession and bathroom facilities there, along with parking paving and striping to expand parking for both venues. On Sugg Street downtown also is the Skate Park. Project funds have also fueled development at Mahr Park, currently contributing to the construction of pavilions, bathrooms, and parking, as well as two dog parks for smaller and larger dogs at the entry to the park property. All these projects have enhanced the draw for tourism from the surrounding region, while also improving the quality of life for our own community.

Paid for by Stevenson for City Council, C. D. Palmer, Treasurer