County Chamber of Commerce
Fletcher discusses tourism,
other issues at chamber luncheon
CARROLLTON, Ky. Nearly 90 members and guests of
the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce attended Novembers membership
meeting Nov. 14 at Gen. Butler State Resort Park to hear Kentucky Gov.
Ernie Fletcher speak on a wide range of topics that affect small business
by Don Ward
Ernie Fletcher greets (from left)
Stephanie Furnish and Miranda Monroe
at the Carroll Co. Chamber lunch.
Fletcher identified several issues of concern for the
General Assembly when it reconvenes in January. They include initiatives
in health, insurance, taxes, commerce and education. He also cited tourism
as a key component of Kentuckys industry, with tourism expenditures
topping $23 million last year, up from $21 million in 2003. Overall
in Northern Kentucky, tourism increased 8.2 percent from 2003 to 2004,
from $1.8 million to more than $2 million, he said.
Tourism is a very important industry here in Carrollton, and the
changes weve made in the state park system recently has made Kentucky
an even more attractive place to visit, Fletcher said.
Fletcher highlighted some of the initiatives his administration has
pushed to help attract more business to the state. He cited a Site Selection
Magazine study that ranked Kentucky as the fourth best state to do business.
But it was the need to improve Kentuckys education programs
especially higher education that Fletcher discussed the
most. He said the state ranks 42nd in higher education.
He also said the rising cost of health care and medicaid are areas that
need attention. And we must find a way to deal with the 500,000
people in Kentucky who have no insurance.
During a question-and-answer period, Carroll County Judge-Executive
Harold Shorty Tomlinson asked the governor for help in improving
the county's highways, and also for his attention to an initiative
to relocate and expand Jefferson Community College to a site just across
Hwy. 227 from the entrance to Butler Park. Lawmakers plans to make their
case for an expanded JCC in the upcoming legislative session.
This is a project that has taken on some life recently, and I
certainly think its doable in this legislative session,
Tomlinson told the governor. This community college has seen tremendous
growth, and it is important to our businesses. Plus its not just
Carroll County that is affected but seven or eight other surrounding
Fletcher responded by saying, Well have to see how it falls
into the priority list for funding. My advice to you is to get as much
community and local business support as possible and come to us with
a plan that reflects that support. That will make it an easier sell
As for highway funding, Fletcher came prepared by reeling off a series
of projects already under way in Carroll and Gallatin counties. But
he added, If an industry decides to expand and add jobs and needs
a road built to do that, the money will be there.
In other chamber business, four new board members were announced: Maguana
Qualls of Cornerstone Floral & Gifts, Chet Mitchell of Beehive Homes
of Carrollton, Chas Robbins of Carrollton Utilities and Jim Ebert of
Camp KYSOC. Outgoing board members are Susie Poling of North American
Stainless and Doreen Shields of Kroger Co.
Chamber president Stephen Jones, whose term expires in December, also
announced the return of the second annual Shop Carrollton First
gift certificates program. The coupons can be purchased in $10 increments
at the Chamber office at 511 Highland Ave.
Call (502) 732-7034 for information.
Back to December 2005