Chandler draws multi-county crowd at courthouse
U.S. Representative Ben Chandler shares a hug with Nell Manning of Stanford as the congressman entered the Lincoln County Fiscal Court to deliver grant checks to groups from five counties Monday morning. (Photo by Michael Broihier)
Gambrel gave a brief history of Lincoln’s being assigned to the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th districts, or combinations thereof over the last few decades, and told the audience that it was time for there to be just one voice for Lincoln voters in Washington.
Districts for electing state representatives will likely be changing as well; eastern Kentucky has lost population and Lincoln County gained slightly in the last census so there will have to be changes made to gain parity within the state’s districts.
Chandler was in town to present checks for grants to organizations from five counties. In addition to Lincoln County, representatives were in court Monday from Estill, Garrard, Madison and Powell counties to receive their oversize checks for everything from cleaning up Herrington Lake to replacing invasive plants with native plants in a public garden.
“We’re here for a wonderful purpose, we are here because we have a beautiful place to live in and we need to keep it that way,” Chandler said before handing out $140,000 in checks for 13 projects. The congressman said that the natural beauty of the commonwealth was not only critical to our quality of life, but to tourism and attracting industry to the state.
Two Lincoln County awardees were the City of Crab Orchard that got a check for $20,000 for developing green spaces at the site of the brown field cleanup site in that city. The Lincoln County Fiscal Court received a check for $20,000 for cleaning up illegal dumps in the county, and the Stanford Main Street Program received over $11,000 for the cleanup and beautification of St. Asaph’s Creek.
Before Chandler arrived, the Fiscal Court met in a special session called to accommodate the congressman’s visit. Magistrates approved the formation of a cemetery board to provide oversight to the preservation of inactive and abandoned cemeteries in Lincoln County. The ordinance describes property owner’s responsibilities in maintaining the integrity of and guaranteeing access to old cemeteries.
Over the last decade, a lot of work has been done on abandoned cemeteries, but it has mostly been the work of volunteers, particularly those interested in Civil War graves. Gambrel said, “Currently we have 250 graves identified, ten years ago we had 50. Ultimately, I think we can identify close to 300 graves.”
Gambrel said that a group led by Magistrate Joe Stanley, the Sons of Union Civil War Veterans, have marked 50 Civil War graves in the last five years.