(Courtesy: Union County Judge Executive Office)

HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Union County Judge Executive Adam O’Nan discussed the current path Sturgis and Union County are taking since Sturgis fell into some financial troubles.

Rebuilding the Sturgis city council

According to O’Nan, the Department For Local Government wanted to appoint one person before the council resigned. The one person who became part of the new city council is Billy Adams.

Officials say Adams is just the beginning of a new city council, and in due time there will be a special meeting called to appoint another new member. The public is welcome to attend these meetings, but O’Nan says the first four meetings will be “short” and “odd,” as these meetings are the way the council will grow. Officials say these new council members will keep adding to the city council every meeting until there are five members.

Once there are five members, they will do city-related operations and choose a mayor Pro Tem. After the new council is arranged, officials say city-related issues will finally come forth in discussion in subsequent council meetings.

O’Nan stated that there could be a big meeting involving Sturgis in November 2024, and there will be a mayor’s race at the end of 2025. The governor will likely be called to assist.

What does Sturgis still need?

According to O’Nan, Sturgis still needs a sewer upgrade. Officials say Sturgis did all the work to have this project go to bid, but the project will cost $4.2M. Officials say taxpayers would have to shoulder this cost, unless a grant becomes available.

O’Nan noted that the town can’t get a grant because the Sturgis auditor is far behind when it comes to paying city debts. O’Nan said Union County is already caught up with its debts.

The Attorney General’s office to investigate

Officials say the Kentucky Attorney General’s office was asked to investigate Sturgis. O’Nan explained the reason for this is because he thinks the people of Sturgis should know where they are at in the financial situation and how the city got to this state.

O’Nan mentioned there were some bills that were ignored on a city level, but Sturgis is trying to catch up. Officials say the city is doing the best it can in this situation.

Moving forward

Judge Exec. O’Nan said he wants Sturgis to remain as a town as opposed to absorbed into Union County, but if the town can’t be saved residents will still be provided services.

O’Nan says he is optimistic everyone in Union County can pull together. He noted that local magistrates are engaged and Mayor Kevin Cotton of Madisonville also reached out to help. An unnamed man has also started going down to Sturgis every Friday to help mow some areas of it, and the Green River Area Development District is assisting.

The judge executive says he appreciated how the former members of city council resigned because he says the members were trying to take the “best course of action.”

O’Nan says good things are happening in Sturgis, and everything is not all “gloom and doom.” He says he is looking forward to how Union County comes together in the future.