, Corbin, KY


May 8, 2014

Whitley Health Dept. celebrates ribbon cutting ceremony

‘This positions our county for growth’

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Now it’s official — the Whitley County Health Department’s new building celebrated its ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday and held an open house to show off the new facility for the community.

More than 100 people attended the opening ceremony, and health department director Gail Timperio opened the festivities thanking several people in the community, including current and former employees.

Judge/Executive Pat White Jr. also offered several thank yous to various community people as well as the health department, its employees and its board of directors.

‘It’s going to help these employees serve our community better,” White said.

He noted all the new buildings in the county which have come to fruition, including the judicial center, the Williamsburg City Hall and the ambulance building for Whitley EMS.

“This positions our county for growth,” he said.

White also thanked Timperio and the former health department director Ray Canada. “They worked hard over the years (to save money),” White said, noting that “not one penny was borrowed” to complete the almost $6 million project.

Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison was also given a chance to speak. “This is fantastic,” he said, and offered his thanks to several various community members who had a hand in seeing this project through.

Timperio said last month that staff members “were extremely excited” to be in their new facility, which technically opened its doors for patients March 17.

The new building is in south Williamsburg off of Exit 11 of I-75. Penny Lane also houses the new Dairy Queen and Tractor Supply.

“This is fantastic,” Timperio said of the new building. “The staff is very excited and ready for the new building.”

This starts a new chapter in the health department’s history.

“There’s so much space — it’s a really nice facility,” she said. “It’s both a privilege and an honor to be working here.”

original building, which she said is still owned by the health department, is in downtown Williamsburg behind the courthouse.

Although that building had seen improvements since its completion in 1953 — Timperio said the building was expanded two times and they bought the house behind the department as well — it was definitely time to move to a larger, more modern facility.

“How many years has the Board of Health and staff been waiting and saving for this day,” Timperio said. “We will do our best with this new facility to be nothing but a benefit for the county for decades to come.”

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The soft whistle of a flute floated through the room as audience members listened in awe to tales of the Thunderbolt people. “This land that you’re now sitting on was that of Thunderbolt people,” said Thunderbolt descendant David Owens. Owens and Indian flute player Robert Mullinax stopped at the Laurel County Library Friday night to entertain with spoken legends, folk lore and tales of the bygone Thunderbolts. Audiences were captivated by stories passed down from the Thunderbolt of how things came to be. Tales about fire, pipes and Kentucky — just to name a few — were shared by Ownes over the course of an hour with Mullinax playing behind him.

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