Revitalizing Henderson Settlement

Published 1:09 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The revitalization of Bell County was the main talking point of the Oct. 24 tourism board meeting. Members of the community and of the board shared updates and plans of various efforts and events to stimulate interest and commerce in area — the most notable being the plans to put Henderson Settlement on the map and on the minds of the wider community.

Executive Director of Henderson Settlement David Lyons addressed the board on the effort he and the community have made to establish a bigger name for the settlement.

Lyons came to the area six months ago, and since he has taken great strides with the settlement. One of the biggest issues with Henderson Settlement being so remote is that it currently has no internet service. Lyons stated that there are plans in motion to convert one of the buildings into an office of sorts in January — complete with fiber optic internet and phone lines. This will not only provide more modernity to the settlement, but also provide jobs the people of the community.

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A solar power program is also being sought to reduce utility costs.

Lyons stated that a love for where you live is what will provide positive change in the community.

“What I’m tired of hearing is that this community is the called the poverty- and drug- stricken area of Kentucky, I’m sick of coming home and hearing that. It’s like a marriage. You have to love yourself before you can love your spouse. We’ve got to love ourselves before we share with other people,” said Lyons.

Lyons also spoke of a large Christmas celebration complete with lights, a live nativity and a variety of activities. The resources for this event will be donation-based so he plans to reach out to local businesses to help make the event a reality.

There is an issue of signage that is affecting Henderson Settlement and other, more remote parts of the community. There simply aren’t enough signs to locate and direct travels to the settlement.

Bell County Tourism Director Jon Grace stated that there are plans in motion to provided better signs for areas that need them.

“I’m excited…it’s great to see somebody that is actually interested in helping revitalizing the settlement out there. It’s a great community resource for the people of Frakes and that area,” said Grace.