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Rooster Booster serves community updates for breakfast

Several county officials gathered in the meeting room at Central Bank bright and early Wednesday morning for the annual Rooster Booster with the intent to update community members of the happenings in Wilmore and Nicholasville.

With over 40 years as mayor under his belt, Wilmore Mayor Harold Rainwater went first. Rainwater updated the crowd on the many happenings in the city is home to around 6,000 people. 

“It is growing slowly, and that’s intentional, and that’s what we want,” Rainwater said. “You have to be moving one way or another. We don’t want to be large, we like being Mayberry. That’s an intentional part of what we’re doing. But we do have to pay bills.”

To create that income, Wilmore fosters what Rainwater referred to as “economic engines,” Asbury University, Wesley Village, Asbury Seminary and the Thompson-Hood Veterans Center.

“The Thompson-Hood Veteran Center to me is probably the most important facility we have in Wilmore in that it serves heroes.”

Rainwater said the four economic boosters have created around 1,218 jobs. Rainwater also mentioned the Waste Water Treatment Plant project to improve operation.

“It’s one of those projects that’s not glamorous. You don’t probably want to say much about it, you just want to get it done,” Rainwater said.

The city received a million dollar Community Development Block Grant and around $500,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture to help pay for the $3.7 million project.

“It will make us more efficient, it will make us more environmentally correct,” Rainwater said. “That’s why we’re doing it.”

Other projects Rainwater mentioned were the selling and potential renovation of Brumfield Grain and Hay in Wilmore and the new three-day satellite clerks’ office at the Wilmore City Hall.

Rainwater ended his update with three upcoming events in Wilmore, the first Storytelling Festival on October 6, the Wilmore Fall Festival on October 7 and The Wilmore Veterans Day Parade at 11:11 a.m. on November 11. 

Nicholasville Mayor Pete Sutherland spoke to the attendees next about the status of Nicholasville in key areas. He began by introducing Commissioners in attendance, Betty Black and Andy Williams, and praised the board that he works with for their hard work and love for the community.

Sutherland began by pointing out the recent designation of Nicholasville and Jessamine County as a Work Ready Community.

“When David West [Jessamine County Judge/Executive] and I both entered office, we knew that was something that hadn’t gotten done that had to get done,” Sutherland said of the distinction.

He explained to everyone the benefits that will come to the county’s workforce.

“If you see some of your school board members, thank them,” Sutherland said. “It’s just huge for our community.”

Sutherland also talked about the efforts underway to revitalize the joint economic development program with the county. He praised the new incoming director, Craig McAnelly, whose work in Woodford County resulted in 1,200 jobs, three industries and over $400 million in industrial investment. In addition, Sutherland said that there are 80 acres of land in a contract for an industrial park, which will ultimately create job opportunities. 

“We are looking for jobs,” Sutherland said. “We are looking for people to come to our community and settle with good jobs and good businesses.”

Sutherland also said that the Ross Street Bridge project is nearly completed, the contract has been let for engineering on the bike and pedestrian path connector and the performance park will soon be underway as well.

He gave an update on the East Brannon Road to Tates Creek connection, which has already begun with 767 homes that are planned for construction off of Brannon Road.

Other housing development projects are scheduled south of town, and the southern section of the new Eastern bypass is scheduled to begin this fall. He also reminded everyone of the Reach Alert system that the city adopted, and the successes of the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Jessamine Program and the new Nicholasville Farmers Market.

Finally, he said that the new city hall project is being rekindled due to lack of space for the police department, and the study phase has begun.