New arena for Jessamine fairgrounds; Buildings up for grabs in Bourbon County

The Jessamine County Fiscal Court has received a $40,000 grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund to diversify and modernize Kentucky's farm economy.

The $40,000 will be used to build a covered livestock arena at the Jessamine County Fairgrounds.

The matching grant received funding from the Jessamine County Fair Board ($10,000 pledge) and obtained additional funding from the Jessamine County Fiscal Court ($15,000), Jessamine County Beef Cattle Association ($10,000) and Jessamine County Investment in Youth Livestock Association ($5,000).

Construction of the covered livestock arena will begin after the Jessamine County Fair, going on through Saturday and is expected to be finished in about two months. John's Building Systems, a local contracting company, submitted the winning bid for the project.

Two buildings being given away

Bourbon County is giving away two buildings that are part of a historic tuberculosis hospital built in Paris in 1946.

Most of the hospital, which served a 20-county region and was in use into the 1970s, will be demolished and asbestos removed with the help of a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The complex of six brick buildings is considered eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Because of this eligibility, the county is required to work with the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office to offset the removal of all but one building from the site.

Since the hospital closed, the county has maintained and improved the former Nurse's Home, the only building that will remain on the site. Two other buildings, the Director's House and Staff Residence, are being offered for free to anyone willing to move them for the purpose of rehabilitation. While the county will remove asbestos in both buildings, moving the buildings would be at the expense of the new owners.

The county will retain some portions of the main hospital, including the entryway and cornerstone, and develop curriculum related to the history of the site and the broader history of public health in the state, which will be made available to schools throughout the state.

For information about acquiring the buildings, contact County Judge-Executive Donnie Foley by Aug. 12. Call (859) 987-2135, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.