His name, Kent Clark, has spurred many comments about Superman. But, at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon Thursday, the Madison Judge-Executive deemed himself another superhero.

“Everyone calls me ‘The Sewer King,’” he said among laughter from a full house at Eastern Kentucky University’s Perkins Building.

“People realize how important it is to the future of this county,” Clark continued, as he gave his state-of-the-county address acknowledging the county’s past, present and future.

“Five years ago, we talked about bringing more sewer into this county and it was kind of a dream,” he said. Since then, the county has completed several sewer projects and more that are still in the construction phase.

The $2 million sewer service expansion in the Terill community will be complete in about six weeks.

“There are now 275 homes hooked to sewer lines,” Clark said. “They were existing on systems that were installed in the 1940s and 1950s.”

Between $45 million and $50 million has been spent repairing and adding sewer lines in the county within the past five years, he said.

The topic of county roads also was a large part of Clark’s address Thursday.

“There is $95 million worth of road projects under construction in Madison County,” he said. “That’s more than any county in the state.”

Some specific projects mentioned that are either complete or under construction were Irvine Road’s expansion into four lanes, Tates Creek Road’s expansion into three lanes, the widening of Barnes Mill Road, the widening of Duncannon Lane, I-75/Duncannon Lane interchange and the widening of US 25 out to Duncannon Lane.

“We hope for additional funding that will take it all the way out to US 421,” Clark said. “The design for the first phase is about 80 percent complete.”

The beginning of the project will go from the Eastern Bypass to Pumpkin Run Road.

Clark said that with every road project the county begins, he is always thinking about ways to incorporate walking and bike trails.

“I recently met with some people about bike paths on the Barnes Mill Road project and it’s going to be a tough project,” he said. “We’re trying to work out a shoulder lane for a bike path. We’re working on getting a bike patch on the shoulder of the road from US 25 to US 421.”

More walking and bike trails also are being incorporated as the Battlefield of Richmond/Herndon House historic site expands.

Other recent additions to the site include approximately 600 acres adjoining the Herndon Estate property that has been purchased with grant funding over time, totaling $6 million.

“When the nerve gas is destroyed at the Blue Grass Army Depot (which is adjacent to the battlefield site), there’s another 400 acres there designated for the park,” Clark said. “That’s 1,000 acres of green space for our residents to enjoy.”

The Tribble House, or “Quarters 29,” formerly owned by the Blue Grass Army Depot, is now a part of the Battle of Richmond’s historical site and is being renovated to serve as the county’s welcome center, Battle of Richmond museum and tourism department.

Continuing on a positive note, Clark noted the county’s decision to join Berea in a joint 911 dispatching center, even though the subject was one of his “pet peeves,” he said.

The Richmond City Commission has decided not to participate in the consolidation, but Clark said their opinion could change in the future.

“I think that once people see that it is absolutely the best service that we can provide for the residents in this county, it could open the door for Richmond to come in,” he said. “I think there’s funding for an interlocal agreement that is signed by all three governments.”

An interlocal agreement was made between the county, city and EKU to initiate a $30 million performing arts center.

Additional funding for the facility could be provided during the next General Assembly, he said.

Clark gives a state-of-the-county address each year to highlight the county’s accomplishments made in the past year and the goals for the years to come.

The chamber’s monthly luncheon sponsor for the year is Time Warner Cable, but, each month’s luncheon is sponsored by a different Madison County business.

This month’s event was sponsored by Active Day Medical Adult Day Care, 928 Commercial Drive.

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