EDMONTON — Ground was broken Tuesday morning at the construction site of the new Metcalfe County Government Center.
The 12,000 square foot structure will house the sheriff, judge-executive, property valuation administrator and the county clerk's offices, and is being constructed on a site situated between North First and North Main streets in downtown Edmonton. Those offices, except for the sheriff's office, are currently in the more than 150-year-old Historic Metcalfe County Courthouse that stands in the middle of the town square. The sheriff's office is across the street from the historic courthouse.
A $2,128,115 base price bid for the government center project was awarded in May by the Metcalfe County Fiscal Court to Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction of Bowling Green.
“This is a great day for Metcalfe County and I'd like to thank the fiscal court and all the people who come to fiscal court for working together to get this project off the ground,” said Metcalfe County Judge-Executive Greg Wilson during the groundbreaking ceremony. “We're very proud of this day. This is a long-time coming and I think it's something that is very much needed for the citizens of Metcalfe County.
“I hope everyone will be proud of it and it will be as long-standing as the original courthouse that we have now.”
Magistrate Teresa Hamlett pointed out that the new courthouse will be handicap-accessible.
The historic courthouse, which is a two-story building, is not handicap-accessible and only has staircases leading to the second floor. In some instances, county officials have to come downstairs to meet with county residents.
The new county government center will have an elevator.
“I hope the citizens really enjoy it,” Hamlett said.
Magistrate Kenny Scott thanked everyone for coming out for the groundbreaking ceremony and Metcalfe County Clerk Carol England Chaney said, “It's a great day; 18 years waiting for this day.”
Prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, members of the fiscal court discussed the absence of magistrates' names on the sign at the construction site.
Magistrate Scotty Mosby brought up the issue.
“I noticed on the sign over there it says your name and her name,” he said, referring to Wilson and Metcalfe County Treasurer Vickie Stephens. “It has nothing to do with the fiscal court. In my opinion, nothing could go on without us over it.”
Hamlett said she had noticed the absence of the magistrates' names, too.
“Without us four there would be no courthouse,” Mosby said. “There would be nothing.”
“It doesn't say anything about Metcalfe County Fiscal Court,” Hamlett said.
Magistrate Moe Hensley pointed out that the sign at the construction site actually does say Metcalfe County Fiscal Court across the top, and then below it lists the judge-executive and county treasurer's names.
Metcalfe County Treasurer Vickie Stephens told the magistrates that her name could be taken off the sign, but all of the magistrates agreed that the name of everyone who is part of the fiscal court should be listed.
Wilson told Hamlett to mention the absence of the magistrates' names to construction officials to see if the names could be added to the sign.
“All we sent to them was a picture (of the courthouse),” Wilson said.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by city officials, as well as county representatives.