Hutchins: October 2023 Nelson County government update

Nelson County Judge-Executive

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 — Friday Night lights are in full swing, pumpkins and mums are on porches, chili is on the stove, and the leaves are starting to change. Fall has arrived in Nelson County.

With the work of the FBI and local law enforcement, the support of our community, the continued media presence, and so many prayers, I am hopeful that the Ballard family will have some type of closure in the nightmarish disappearance Crystal Rogers.


Since I became NCJE in January 2023, there have been many changes and accomplishments by myself and Fiscal Court that I am proud of. These changes will save Nelson County residents approximately $1.5 million in the first 18 months. This is a huge accomplishment. Additionally, Nelson County Fiscal Court recently lowered the property tax rate from 13.7% to 12.7% . This rate is lower than the state of Kentucky’s compensating rate recommendation. This was a great achievement in itself, but it is also shows that our current Fiscal Court is willing to lead and start the change in culture to live within our means. The lowering of the property tax by one full percentage point has never been done in Nelson County Fiscal Court history, according to the data that has been provided. I want to thank the magistrates for supporting this recommendation and for being a part of a fiscally responsible court.

I want to again congratulate Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa for being named Sheriff of the Year by the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association. No sheriff from Nelson County has ever received this prestigious honor. Not only is he and his department extremely successful in law enforcement, but he is also instrumental in assisting so many organizations in Nelson County with fundraising efforts. I am proud to call Sheriff Pineiroa our sheriff and my friend. Thank you for your service and dedication to our safety and our community.

The roundabout in front of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral is almost complete. I know that there have been days, especially for our Boston and New Haven residents, where traffic was delayed and frustrating. However, it appears that traffic is moving much better. The railroad crossing on Mobley Mill road was also completed this week. This work caused the closing on Samuel’s Loop which resulted in traffic being re-routed and ultimately causing delays at the intersection on Highway 509 and Highway 245. Thanks to the Sheriff’s Office and the Nelson County Road Department for their assistance in traffic control.

Downtown Bardstown is also undergoing paving. The work will be completed primarily at night, but there will probably still be traffic delays and difficulties with parking. We ask again for your patience while these enhancements for our community are being completed.

The first meetings of the newly formed Recreational Tourism and the Fairground Enhancement Committees were completed this week. With new eyes and new ideas, I am confident that additional long-term and short-term planning of these two areas in Nelson County, which have been under-utilized, can now be a draw for Nelson County families.

The 2023 Iron Horse Festival drew record crowds with more vendors, additional food options, and a larger parade. Thanks to the organizers of this event for not only planning and executing an excellent festival, but also for continuing to have their local community in the spotlight. For the last 31 years, the Iron Horse Festival has been held the second weekend in September and they have already started making plans for this weekend in 2024.

The Cheers to Bardstown event held a few weeks ago was well attended by Nelson County residents from all over the county. Thanks to Randi Mouser and the Bardstown Main Street staff for the planning and execution of this large event. I have been asked my opinion of the Bourbon Festival and its current direction. It is my understanding that when this festival was first developed it was to celebrate the local industry, local citizens, and local distillery workers. It is also my understanding that a few years ago, new members of the Bourbon Festival Board made the decision to move from a local festival format to more of an “enthusiast” format in an effort to “save the festival”. Somewhere between these decisions a definite breakdown of communication occurred and is still occurring. I will be organizing a separate committee to find common ground. This committee would include local individuals who were instrumental with the beginning of the Bourbon Festival, local tourism representation, local distillery representation, and at-large members of the community. The importance of the Bourbon Industry to our community can’t be underestimated or understated, but the respect, importance, and support of our local community is equally important.

While inflation and monetary concerns are affecting us all, it is easy to get bogged down in all the unpleasant events happening around us. However, as we continue into Fall, I encourage all our citizens to take a minute and enjoy your family, friends and the beautiful place that we all call home.

Editor’s Note: Tim Hutchins is Nelson County Judge-Executive. He can be reached in his office on the second floor of the Old Courthouse or by phone, 348-1800.


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