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McGaha's State Budget news like Christmas in April for local leaders

Senator McGaha announces $56.32 million in funding for roads in 2006-07 State Budget. Western Bypass set for September this year. Scoping Study for Eastern Bypass included in budget. City Hall gets expansion money. Little League gets $100,000. One million dollars to build Shepherd Water Storage Tank.
Photos with this article
By Ed Waggener
Adair County native Senator Vernie McGaha had awesome news for his hometown and county at an 8:00 a.m. press conference held this morning at the Columbia and Adair County Training & Development Center.

For the leaders packed into the center conference room, the announcements were like Christmas in April.

In all, Senator McGaha said that Adair County has $56,320,000 in funding for roads, plus big allocations for for water, sewer, and for an addition to City Hall, and the Little League Park.

A very important announcement was for a "Scoping Study" allocation for an Eastern Bypass for Columbia. "I want to see a New Circle Road around Columbia," Senator McGaha said.

The New Circle he describes would be more of a triangle, with the Louie B. Nunn Parkway as its base, and with the Western Bypass, a huge bulge on the other side.

The meeting room on the bottom floor of the Center was filled to overflowing, with many elected officials, many important business and civic leaders, and a large turnout of candidates in attendance.

$100,000 for Little League

Senator McGaha led with good news for the Adair County Little League, Inc. $100,000 is earmarked for the Joe Johnson Little League Park. "I was at Lindsey and heard about the the State Champion 13-year-old softball team," Senator McGaha said, "and that the 16-year-olds were runners-up. Then I saw the field they play on, and I knew something had to be done.

Two big water and sewer grants to Columbia

"Adair County will have a new water plant in the budget to date. And, Jim," he said, directing his comment to Jim Williams, Superintendent of Columbia Utilities, "in Columbia, you're going to have $374,000 for a new lift-station. And I've heard there is a new Wal-Mart coming out by the interchange, and we have $481,000 for sewer to help development out there."

$475,000 for addition to City Hall

"You're getting a new courthouse," Senator McGaha said, then corrected himself by addressing Judge Jerry Vaughan. "It's not a courthouse. It's a Justice Center," and then turned to Mayor Pat Bell, "You're going to get $475,000 for an expansion of CIty Hall."

Remembering his roots, Senator admits Shepherd favoritism

Senator McGaha, who grew up in northeastern Adair County and attended Shepherd School, turned to Adair County Water District Superintendent Lenny Stone and said, "When I asked you what you needed most, you said, 'A new storage tank at Shepherd.' That was good politics. I'm a little prejudiced for Shepherd, and I want you to know that there is $1,000,000 in the budget for the new storage tank at Shepherd."

$56,320,000 for roads. Western Bypass will be let in September

"In the budget, most counties have one page each for roads projects. It took three pages for Adair County."

Biggest of these, he said, is money for the new Western Bypass. "The bids will be let in September," he announced. He also announced the Scoping Study for the Eastern Bypass.In all, he said, there is $56,320,000 earmarked for Adair County roads.
Adair County fared well

"Adair County has fared quite well," Senator McGaha said. "I hope all this will help move Adair County ahead. You know," he said, "the yards in Adair County are quite fruitful. They are well fertilized. They are even growing signs," he quipped.He paid tribute to the Lake Cumberland Area Development District's Donna Diaz, who was in attendance.

He said that he believes the Governor will call a special session to give tax relief for small businesses caught up in the states Alternative Minimum Tax, which levies minimum taxes based on revenues, regardless of profits.

Local leaders praise news, Senator McGaha

Mayor Pat Bell, praised Senator McGaha, "I hope we have you for many years," and added, "I hope we'll have the moxie to be good stewards of what we've gotten in this budget, so years from now you'll look back and be pleased you had a hand in it."

Robert Flowers, chairman of the Columbia Utilities Commission, thanked Senator McGaha for the sewer grants. "Columbia is a beautiful place with a lot of hills and hollows," Flowers said, "but that means that sometimes sewage has to be pumped uphill. The money for the lift station is very important. We're glad to call you our own."

He also received special thanks from the county judge, the sheriff, and the little league.

Dough McCammish asked Senator McGaha what is at the top of the list for the future. He was answered, "Probably, that we all are able to work together. Communities don't change until everybody gets together."

He praised those who lobby for grants for their communities, saying he found it helpful.

Rep. Russ Mobley of Campbellsvile had been scheduled to appear at the news conference but did not.

This story was posted on 2006-04-14 11:47:10
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Waiting for Sen. Vernie McGaha

2006-04-14 - Columbia - Photo Ed Waggener. CITY LEADERS SPECULATED ABOUT ANNOUNCEMENTS TO COME as they waited for Sen. Vernie McGaha this morning. The downstairs meeting room in the Columbia-Adair County Training and Development Center was filled to overflowing with interested citizens who wanted specific news for Adair County from the 2006-2007 state budget. Visible in this photo, from left, are Richard Phelps, Jennifer Hutchison-Corbin, Richard Lee Walker, Dr. Max Downey, Don Franklin (with grandson to his left), Mike Loy, foreground,righ; and at far right, standing, Bill Parson.
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Senator McGaha interviewed, live, by Dana Walker, WHVE

2006-04-14 - Columbia, Adair CO, KY - Photo Ed Waggener. Dana Walker of WHVE-FM, Columbia,KY, interviewed State Senator Vernie McGaha live at the news conference in which the legislator, an Adair County native, announced unprecedented funding for Adair County projects.
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Mayor Bell interviewed by Jim Napier, WAIN

2006-04-14 - Columbia, Adair CO, KY - Photo Ed Waggener. Columbia Mayor Pat Bell, who got some great news for the City in the 2006-07 State Budget, was interviewed by radio station WAIN newsman Jim Napier. The event is the April 14, 2006, news conference with Senator Vernie McGaha announcing Adair Projects funded in the budget.
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Senator McGaha 06/07 state budget for Adair news conference: Praise for LCADD

2006-04-17 - Columbia, Adair CO, KY - Photo Ed Waggener. Senator Vernie McGaha holds up a small booklet prepared for him by the Lake Cumberland Area Development District and praised Donna Diaz for the preparation of the booklet, which he used to help him obtain water grants. He said he was the envy of his colleagues, who often shuffled huge piles of paper to find the information he had readily available to him in the booklet. In back, from left, are Terry Akin, Dennis Loy, Jim Napier, and Sue Stivers. Mayor Patrick R. Bell is in the foreground.
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