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First Chamber Breakfast of 2021

Chamber President Torrie Osbon presenting Mark Park owner of Parks Panel Processing & Manufacturing, Inc the Business of the Quarter award. Photo by PJ Martin

By PJ Martin

Editor, The Herald-News


A crowd of over 100 attended the first Chamber Breakfast of 2021. Most commented how nice it was to be able to attend the breakfast and how much they had missed them last year.

The business of the quarter award was presented to Parks Panel Processing & Manufacturing, Inc. located in Summer Shade. The owner and operator Mark Park thanked the chamber for the great job they do.

Park spoke of the business beginning in a barn in 2002 and how they grew to include commercial builds in 2005 which necessitated the move to the old Summer Shade School property. The business went on to incorporate in 2011. The business consists of building store fixture components for factories all over the United States. Walmart, Dollar General, and Family Dollar, are just some of their customers. They build check-out counters, beverage counters, food bars, pastry cases, and have also built a community center façade, and two amusement park pirate ships.

Senator David Givens presented updates. Photo by PJ Martin

“In this changing economy, you can be in business today and out tomorrow…the world that we live in is ever-changing and we have to change with it,” noted Park and he gives all the credit for his successful business to God and his family.

The next speaker Senator David Givens brought the crowd up to date on what the 30 days session accomplished. “The economy in Kentucky and across the commonwealth is doing great. A combination of factors, federal money being a large part of that,” stated Givens.

In order to budget that federal money for lasting positive changes, some of the federal money was invested in improving broadband in the state. Broadband ties to the influx of people moving to Kentucky and also ties to better education virtually.

Representative Bart Rowland spoke to the crowd. Photo by PJ Martin

Representative Bart Rowland presented an update on the state of the house. “Going into this session…the general assembly’s goals were two-fold …one was to pass the second year of a two year budget, that got shut down in 2020, and a very conservative budget, the second was to give reassurance and in some cases relief to struggling businesses, schools, and restaurants who had been shut down by executive order on two separate occasions.”

The next speakers were a little closer to home. Mayor Doug Smith told the crowd that the City of Edmonton was notified that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has approved some discretionary funding for street pavement that was applied for in early 2020.”

The city has begun the water improvement project and rehab of the water system. Also, the

Edmonton Memorial Park has been awarded the Land and Water Conservation Grant which will be used to put concrete under and shade overall baseball, softball, and tennis court bleachers, and place trash cans throughout the park.

Smith also stated, “The ARC funding of $600,000 to cover the cost of bid up for the spec building has been approved by the state and are awaiting federal approval.”

Mayor Doug Smith gave an update on the City of Edmonton. Photo by PJ Martin

Magistrate Kenny Scott filled in for Judge/Executive Harold Stilts, presenting an update on the status of the county. Photo by PJ Martin

Filling in for Judge/Executive Harold Stilts, who was under the weather, was Magistrate Kenny Scott. “In March 2020, with the governor shutting down businesses and factories resulted in a loss of revenue. In the last quarter fiscal year 2020, we lost $300,000 in the general fund and ended the fiscal year with $98,000 in the general fund. Starting our budget for fiscal year 20-21 with only $98,000 in our general fund we had to make some adjustments and cuts to our budget to make it work….then Kentucky Transportation Cabinet cut our rural road fund $200,000 for fiscal year 20-21. With watching our spending and making some adjustments in the last nine months, we are on target again for fiscal year 20-21 with about $200,000 in the general fund, explained Scott.

Superintendent Josh Hurt talked about school system and the pandemic. Photo by PJ Martin

Southern Wood owner Ron Underwood who sponsored the breakfast. Photo by PJ Martin

The last speaker was Superintendent Josh Hurt, “I’m happy to report that throughout this unprecedented year in Metcalfe County schools continue to move forward. We began school in-person and at home August 30th. We’ve had some tough decisions to make from the start but I think we made good decisions on behalf of our students and the kids in our community. We’ve went through the middle of an international pandemic, a major ice storm followed by a major snowstorm, followed by a flood – we’re waiting on the plaque of locusts…but we’ve done well.”

The breakfast was sponsored by Ron Underwood owner of Southern Wood in Summer Shade who announced that the Summer Shade Founders Day will be held Saturday, May 8th, and will pay homage to the Prairie Ramblers. Southern Wood showcases not only Ron’s woodworking products but local craft people’s wares.

The delicious breakfast was catered by Diane’s Cakes and Catering.

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