Judge Shane Gabbard

In the midst of our Country dealing with a pandemic we are trying to move along with business as best we can. Many things along the lines of grant applications and Government projects still have timelines we have to meet. Even though the way of life as we knew it is changing, some things have not. Currently we are seeking Grant funding to build a building for our ambulance service. The Ambulance Service is currently housed in the same building as the Senior Citizens Center. The need for the Ambulance Service to have it's own facility is evident. They need room for meeting space, stockrooms for medical supplies, space for training and the ability to keep all the ambulances in one space. We have the property at dispatch to build a building on, we just need the money. Last week I had a virtual meeting by conference call with the Cumberland Valley Area Development District and the Department For Local Government about the project and the Grant funding we should be seeking. It appears that a Community Block Development Grant is the best route and I'm happy to say that we have already started the process to apply for that grant. With every grant we apply for we always address the need for the grant we are applying for. Is it a community need and will it serve our citizens well? I believe this facility is. Not only will it be used to house the EMS but it will also be a place to train future EMT's. I am certain we will have a need for EMT's in the future. It's a great career to seek for those that want to make a difference in the community they live in. I hope all goes well and we are awarded with funds for this facility.

Another Grant we are seeking is for a rescue boat for high water rescues. These boat are called Zodiac boats and are used in many flooding events. We have seen our share of flooding in Jackson County in the last 4 years and feel the need is there for one to be utilized by our emergency services. The Cumberland Valley Area Development District is helping us seek funds for this boat and if awarded it will be the first of it's kind for Jackson County. We hope to never need to perform a high water rescue but flood waters can raise so quickly that it's best to have it on hand. I've always said "It's better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it". The Jackson County Fiscal Court wants to support and help our emergency services in every way possible. We are the applicant agent on this grant to do just that.

It appears that unfortunately we may see a surge in COVID-19 cases throughout our region. We had seen a decline in cases but due to testing becoming more available the States numbers will be more than likely going up. It's important to remember that while the possibility that you will recover from this virus is very high, you may be in contact with someone who may have a hard time recovering from it if they contract it. There has unfortunately also been several that have passed away from the virus. We have felt that effect here in Jackson County. What does this mean? This is just my opinion and I am the farthest thing from an expert on things like this but the need is there to be careful for your safety and others. I am not personally afraid of the virus but I do respect it as a valid sickness. Don't misunderstand, I don't want to contract it and wouldn't want anyone else to contract it from me. We all have someone that would have a hard time getting well from this or any other virus, So be careful. I will be the first to admit that sometimes I get in a hurry going somewhere and forget my facemask. It's also real easy to get close to someone while talking because that's just the way we have always been. We are a neighborly type people and it's a way of life. Facemasks aren't bad and It's good to wear one when you can and people shouldn't be scorned for wearing one and also they shouldn't be scorned for not wearing one. Encouragement most likely will go farther in today’s world than scorning I also think that with all the civil unrest that's going on in the world today it's important to be respectful of others and set an example of brotherly kindness for them. Just because someone may contract this virus does not give us the right to label them or to scorn them. Instead lets support them and help each other and our community through some of the toughest times we have ever saw. We can and will overcome this, but we will overcome it better together. Be mindful of each other’s health and it may just make the difference that's needed. God Bless

Shane Gabbard

Jackson County Judge Executive

606-287-8562

PO Box 175 Mckee KY 40447

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