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Nicholas County pushing through challenges compounded by inflation

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Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 18:19:18-04

NICHOLAS COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — It's been eight months since a historic, costly, storm hit Nicholas County.

The flood destroyed hundreds of homes and many businesses, including the county's only non-dollar grocery store.

People around Carlisle are still having to drive 20-plus miles for some basic essentials.

"Paris, Fleming County, you know, just wherever. Maysville, just kind of branching out and it takes away from our whole business community as well," said County Judge-Executive Steve Hamilton.

Not only does that mean dollars are being spent in other communities, but those same round-trips are costing people in Nicholas County a lot more with rising inflation and gas prices.

"With gas prices going up, food prices going up, it's pretty hard for people to drive out of our town to another community just to get groceries," said Gladys Shrout.

Shrout says the past 18 years, dating back to the closing of Jockey International, have been tough for this community that dates back more than 200 years.

"After we lost that, we lost our hospital, which was another impact. We lost our Southern States last year, which was another impact, and now we're losing our local nursing home," said Shrout.

Hamilton says the final residents were recently moved out of the Johnson Mathers Nursing Home. That's just another impact on the community.

"I mean, first and foremost, it's the residents and their families. And then those employees are having to drive everywhere looking for a job, or not being able to find a job," said Hamilton.

Compounding the access issue Is inflation. Costs are going up, which means just as you are at home, Hamilton says the county is keeping an eye on the budget.

"If you were able to blacktop a mile of road last year, it might be a half a mile this year. You're just going to have to make that adjustment," said Hamilton.

Despite the recent rash of unfortunate news, Hamilton says things will be looking up soon. Ground was broken at the site of the new Save-A-Lot. The grocery store should be open by September.

There's also construction down Concrete Road at the future site for Sterling Health, which provides medical services for the area.

Shrout is also excited about the upcoming Blackberry Festival, a long-running tradition that dates back to 1946.

The festival will run from July 5-9 and is organized by the American Legion and Carlisle-Nicholas County Tourism.

"We've got a lot of good people here in this community, and we are a close-knit community," said Shrout.