Wayne County Outlook

Posted December 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

“It’s like joining a club, paying your dues and not being able to use all of the facilities,” said District Three Magistrate Dale Vaughn, as he urged the fiscal court to join the City of Monticello in an effort to persuade South Kentucky RECC officials to build a community room at their local office.

During a meeting held Thursday, December 11, fiscal court agreed to write a letter–the second they will have drafted in the last couple of months–requesting that South Kentucky RECC CEO Allen Anderson and other officials with the electric cooperative follow through with pledges that were made to local residents in 2007, just after voters approved South Kentucky RECC’s purchase of the Monticello Electric Plant Board.

The fiscal court’s decision mirrored one made by Monticello City Council on December 9, when Councilman Alvin Sexton cited an October 2007 article in the Wayne County Outlook.

In the article, Sexton pointed out that Anderson stated the Monticello Electric Plant Board Office would become the local office for South Kentucky RECC and a community room would be constructed at that location.

“They have done some of the things they promised,” Sexton stated during the meeting, as he talked about the actions South Kentucky RECC promised in 2007 prior to its purchase of the Monticello Electric Plant Board. “This was one of the big things they said they would do, and it hasn’t been done…I just like to see people follow through with what they say.”

Sexton proposed that City Attorney Gordon Germain draft a letter to South Kentucky RECC emphasizing the need for a community room in Wayne County.

The motion was approved unanimously by the council.

Vaughn also cited the same Outlook article during Thursday’s fiscal court meeting, as he made a motion that County Attorney Tom Simmons join Germain in the letter writing effort.

The county sent a similar written request to South Kentucky RECC in October, but Vaughn said last week that they had not received a reply.

“No one is mad at South Kentucky RECC,” said Vaughn. “But as elected officials we need to stand up for the citizens and this community…I think the citizens of this community deserve a community room.


The city has been approved for a Land and Water Conservation grant that will be used for improvements at the ASPIRE Center. Council members learned about the grant at a meeting held December 9.

The grant totals $15,477, and Mayor Jeffery Edwards said it will be used to improve the walking trail at the ASPIRE Center. Plans include resurfacing and adding to the existing trail, Edwards noted.

Other improvements planned include the addition of benches along the trail and construction of a small shelter house that can be used for birthday parties, anniversaries or other gatherings. He added that there are also plans to include more landscaping and signage in the trail area.


While most people use this time of the year to count their blessings, one local group is staying busy doling them out.

Local charitable organization House of Blessings is using this giving season to amp up the way they address the multi-faceted needs of Wayne County’s less fortunate.

“We’re friends, we’re family they need,” House of Blessings cofounder and volunteer Michelle Wiggins said. “We feed them, if that’s what they need. We clothe them, if that’s what they need. When we don’t have a coat (if one is needed), we put the word out.”

House of Blessings began two years ago at Monticello-Wayne County Park after a concerned group of local residents decided to feed and help local people who were struggling to make ends meet.

Soon after, they moved to the old Rankin building near the Doughboy statue in downtown Monticello, and just last month, the group moved to their new location in the brown brick building behind the former A.J. Lloyd Middle School.

They’re using the recent move to a larger building as momentum to better serve those needs.

More space means the organization is able to offer more ways to help, such as a kid’s play area, more eating and serving space, a clothing area, a teen room and other services still in the works.

As always, those services are entirely free.

“Nothing in this building will ever be charged for”, Wiggins said. “God is free, this stuff is free cause that’s where it came from.”

A bigger headquarters also means House of Blessings can better serve the less fortunate, no matter what is needed in any given situation.

“Sometimes it’s just human contact,” Wiggins said. “There’s a lot of people that eat here that are the throw-aways of society.”

As usual, the nine-person House of Blessings advisory council, where no one is boss and everyone’s a volunteer, relies on nothing but donations to meet needs.

Local companies such as American Woodmark donate items and time volunteering with the organization.

Aside from donations from local businesses, House of Blessings also relies on another local resource–inmates from the Wayne County Detention Center.

Without inmates such as Patrick Taylor, who works at House of Blessings as part of a work release program at the jail, the group could not function as effectively.

“We’ve been fixing tile, redoing the roofs. We set up the Christmas tree the other day,” Taylor said. “Just pretty much what needs to be done.”

With help from Taylor and the other inmates, as well as the typical volunteers, House of Blessings is geared up for the Christmas season, which is generally the most charitable time of the year.