Outgoing Mayor G. C. Kincer thanked the Jenkins City Council for its work and support at the council’s last meeting of 2014, and used the occasion to outline the successes achieved during his term as mayor. The tone was cordial, and Kincer was effusive in his praise for the hard work the council members did to achieve their objectives.
After hearing a report from Whitesburg Architect Bill Richardson on plans for the final stage of the Jenkins swimming pool/civic center complex, Kincer told the council that while there have been many successful projects completed in the past four years, it would be a good idea to be very careful about incurring any large amounts of debt in the near future. He said that opinion came from the advice of Nicholasville Accountant Rodney Welch, a former resident of Jenkins, who conducts the city’s annual audit.
Kincer said that Welch will be at the January meeting to go over the audit for the previous year and that while the report will be favorable, he will also caution the council against heavy spending for the foreseeable future.
“We are in good shape,” said Kincer. “But this is a time to be cautious too.”
Kincer credited the development of a long-term strategic plan, which was conducted in the early days of his administration, for helping the city qualify for several large project grants that helped the city achieve some of its goals without incurring debt. However, he said, the council members need time to catch their breath before moving forward since many of the grant sources are either drying up or will require more matching funds from municipalities.
“ We made the right moves,” said Kincer. “But my recommendation is to catch your breath.”
Kincer’s statement came after Richardson’s presentation, which showed the final design for the multi-purpose area at the community center. Richardson said he hopes the council will support the completion of the project and that his firm will work with the members in every way possible to make it as feasible as possible.
Kincer praised Richardson for his work and said the city will want to finish the civic center project, but it should move forward with caution in the current funding climate. He listed other projects that have been concluded recently as well, beginning with the acquisition of the old Beth-Elkhorn office annex for the new city hall that has replaced the old building on Lakeside. He said the new space has helped by providing more space for city activities as well as additional parking.
Kincer also pointed to the new swimming pool and said not only has it been a huge addition to the city, it had made money, even in the bad weather of the past summer. He said that finding the money for the pool had been made easier by the strategic plan and that the pool would be a lasting testimony to the council’s desire to serve the city. He also said that the decision of the city to take over the day-to-day management of the Little Shepherd Amphitheater should start to pay dividends in additional tourism.
The partnership with Virginia Technical University for the development of the Moonshine Trail was another program Kincer mentioned, and he said the city has been awarded one grant for $88,000 and another for $5,000 to develop the trail system. He added that the city is still working with TECO on obtaining easements for crossing its property. The funds will be used for trail development and for signage. The trail committee will work on the signs and on providing other information for those using the trail.
Kincer told the council he hopes it continues to pursue the Moonshine Trail project and said that he understands that TECO’s coal holdings in eastern Kentucky have been sold to Kentucky-based Booth Energy. He said the trail project could have a huge impact on the city and told the council it can continue to pursue new projects just as long as it stays within its limits.
Kincer also pointed to the city’s local access television station, which serves to inform Jenkins residents by providing news relevant to the city, and told the council it had been a pleasure to work with it. He also thanked his wife, Sherry, for her long service to the city.