Knox Partners, Inc., is up and back in business.
The original Knox Partners, Inc., representing Union College, KCEOC, Knox County and the City of Barbourville, began organizing in 1998. It was legally established as a non-profit corporation in 2000. The corporation’s mission at that time was to develop the plans and secure funding for the construction of the Stivers Wellness and Aquatic Center
According to founding board member KCEOC’s Paul Dole, originally, Scott Black was the organization’s president, Paul Dole was the vice president, Union College’s Edward De Rosset was secretary and Charles Buchanan was the treasurer. The Knox Partners went dormant once the funding for the Center was completed around 2010. Construction and overseeing of the project was then turned over to the Stivers Board of Directors.
Then in July 2015, the Knox Partners were invited to meet with the Stivers Board of Directors at the Center. The two boards heard from Bill Moody, the assigned financial representative for Community Venters, which is the non-profit organization that originally packaged the New Market Tax Credits for the Stivers Center. Community Ventures agreed to transfer three months of the struggling center’s defaulted payments to the end of the time the tax credits would be paid off, at which time the boards expected someone else to acquire the center and assume any debts owed.
In May 2017, the seven-year tax credit write off will expire and the Stivers Board will turn the facility back over to the Knox Partners, who will determine the final disposition of the property.
As such, the Knox Partners have once again begun meeting, with the original four seats being filled by virtue of their positions. Knox County Judge-Executive J.M. Hall will serve as the Knox Partner’s new president, Circuit Court Clerk Greg Helton, vice president, and Barbourville Mayor David Thompson, treasurer. Union College President Marcia Hawkins is the secretary of the newly-convened Knox Partners. KCEOC CEO Paul Dole, representing the Community Action Partnership, is the only original continually serving member of the Knox Partners.
The four seated partners each designated two more members to serve on the board. The additional members are Bill Frazier and Jeremy Hicks, representing the city, Greg Helton and Bob Mitchell representing KCEOC, Ray Canady and Tom Odell Smith representing the county, and Denise Wainscott and David Johns representing Union College. Forcht Bank’s Joann Maybrier was voted the final member of the Board, rounding out a baker’s dozen.
Although the board originally held a non-profit status, the Knox Partners’ status was purged around four years ago by the IRS, along with numerous other organizations. Bob Mitchell offered to look into it.
At the next meeting, (which has not yet been scheduled), the partners will hear from a representative of Community Venture, Inc., who will update them on the transactions and closing procedures that will be taking place between now and May 2017.
“Questions need to be answered in the next four to six months,” said Tom Odell Smith. “We need to get acclimated to where it is and where it’s been. This is the critical step. This will all determine what is going to take place in the future.”
To which Marcia Hawkins added, “The Stivers Board needs to get their financial books in order.”