Chamber, EDC gives priorities to Fiscal Court

Daviess Fiscal Court and citizens in attendance at the court’s Thursday night meeting were presented with a tentative list of priorities which may be presented to the Kentucky General Assembly during the next legislative session.

While no proposals were made from the public during the special forum, Candance Brake of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and Mark Snell from the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. gave a presentation of some of the projects the city and county would present to legislators.

“I think it underscores how remarkable it is for a community our size to come together to decide on what our needs are,” Brake said.

The priorities list is made every year from ideas by the Fiscal Court, Owensboro City Commission, chamber of commerce, EDC and citizens. The priorities are refined and published into material for lobbying efforts.

Priorities on the list ranged from building projects to legislative policy, but Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said the proposal to build a new judicial center in the county and the creation of an Interstate 69 spur on the Audubon Parkway stuck out as being the most beneficial for the county.

A roughly $600,000 renovation to the current center for a family court room is underway, but Mattingly said a new center with adequate parking for staff and citizens would be ideal. The Administrative Office of Courts would have to agree to the need for a new facility, as they pay for usage of the building.

Snell said the addition of an I-69 spur would help the area become more attractive to outside developers and industries.

“We keep hearing that Owensboro and Daviess County isn’t connected to an interstate, and even though we remind them we are — they are just called parkways — people from different states and countries look from the I next to a name on Google maps,” Snell said.

The addition of a legislative policy granting home rule flexibility giving local governments more autonomy over their taxing was also discussed.

“The home rule issue is about giving us some credit,” Mattingly said. “ Everyone of these men on the Fiscal Court are business people; they have a good education and the ability to look long term. Local people know best what their community needs.”

If the home rule measure is left on the list, Mattingly and Brake said the wording would probably be refined, though it was a succinct phrase to rally around.

Mattingly and the two presenters also outlined successful initiatives in the past, but the judge-executive warned that not every session is favorable for local needs.

“My concern this biennium is that there won’t be a lot of money available, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be working to promote what we think is important,” Mattingly said.

The entire preliminary list of priorities were as followed:

Capital priorities:

  • A second family court judge
  • A judicial center
  • Fund the lighting of the Glover H. Cary Bridge

Legislative priorities:

  • Home rule flexibility in local government tax structure

Transportation priorities:

  • Maintain funding for the six-year road plan
  • Maintain funding for the William H. Natcher Parkway upgrade for I-65 spur
  • Complete I-69 and upgrade Audubon Parkway to I-69 spur
  • Widen Kentucky 331 to a four-lane road
  • Fund the lighting of the Glover H. Cary Bridge

Citizens were encouraged to submit their priority proposals by email to

By Jacob Dick Messenger-Inquirer