Whitesburg KY

Court wants old food store

The Letcher Fiscal Court would like to turn an old grocery store building into a recreation center.

During a special meeting Tuesday, the court voted 5-0 to submit a sealed bid for the purchase of the old A&P Food Store building, located next to Dairy Queen on River Road. The building is now owned by Southeast Kentucky Community College and Technical School.

After agreeing on a price the county will offer for the building, court members emerged from a closed session and voted to give Letcher Judge/Executive Jim Ward the authority to submit the sealed bid. Ward said he couldn’t reveal the amount, but said it is a fair offer for the property, which was donated to the college several years ago by the family of the late Joe and Irene Reynolds.

District Two Magistrate Archie Banks was enthusiastic about the prospect of building a recreation center. Banks said he also believes the bid is fair and that the property would be a good site for a recreation center. Banks added that while the main focus is on providing a safe recreational space for young people, the center will be for all citizens of Letcher County.

“We made a good bid,” said Banks. “And we want the property.”

Banks, Ward and other members of the court said the building is perfect for the recreation center because of its central location, ample parking, and the size of the building.

Banks said the court is willing to do whatever is possible to make it a first-class center, including expanding the building. The magistrates discussed the possibility of a walking track, bowling lanes, and other recreational facilities within the center.

In other business, the court voted to approve a standing order to pay recurring monthly bills such as the electric bill, payrolls, health insurance for county employees, fuel, and other regular bills which are paid monthly. They also voted to add the county credit card to the standing order to make certain it is paid in time to avoid finance charges.

The court also voted unanimously to pay the election officers for the recent primary elections and to pay bills brought before the court since the last regular meeting.

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