2018 was certainly an amazing year and 2019 is off to a bang as well.
January began with many meetings and events. First of all, let me congratulate our wonderful Monroe County Chamber of Commerce on their 40th Anniversary serving local business in our community. We are blessed to have such a strong organization assisting and providing outstanding leadership for our businesses.
I would like to congratulate Jennifer Houston on being elected president to National Cattle Beef Association. It is huge to have a person, not only from the south, from Tennessee, but from our very own county. Congratulations to Jennifer, Mark, Virginia and Ross for being leaders in the agriculture industry at a national level. I had the pleasure along with Gov. Bill Lee and Rep. Lowell Russell presenting proclamations to Jennifer at the county and state cattle meetings.
Jan. 19 was a true honor to be invited and attend the Inauguration Ceremonies of newly-elected Gov. Bill Lee. I am truly excited to see what is in store for Tennessee and Monroe County in the weeks and years to come. Monroe County also had a tremendous representation for the swearing in for Lowell Russell and Mark Cochran at the Capitol, congratulations Mark and Lowell.
Locally our county unemployment rate has dropped 3.5 percent with many of our local business and industries seeking employees. Our county is currently enthused about several grants that has been awarded to assist some major projects. Myself and my directors have all ready began budget hearings and will be prepared to present to the County Commission along with other elected officials beginning in March.
The construction of the Justice Center continues to be on schedule for the mid-fall completion date. Monroe County has so many wonderful things going in several areas, we truly are blessed beyond measure to live the greatest location on earth. May God Bless each of you and Monroe County.