Radcliff Chamber closes chapter

-A A +A

Final business luncheon held before launch of Hardin County Chamber

By Marty Finley

As the Radcliff Chamber of Commerce closed a chapter of its history this week, Mayor J.J. Duvall gave a glimpse into the city’s future.

Duvall was the featured speaker as the chamber convened for its last luncheon Monday before it fully joins the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce. Other area chambers already have held their final ceremonies.

The newly united chamber officially launches March 10 at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown.

In addressing the chamber’s membership, Duvall acknowledged his staff and departments for their hard work and jokingly referred to them as his assigned cheering section.

Duvall also briefed the audience on ways the city has trimmed roughly $122,000 from its $10.9 million annual budget. Duvall said restructuring job functions and renegotiating some city contracts has created the savings.

The city also has been renovating Radcliff City Hall, but Duvall said most of the money and labor have come from community volunteers. He estimated the city has only spent about $370 on the work.

Duvall also said the administration plans to relaunch the city’s website by late March and is working with local high schools to host a civic day at city hall in April.

The mayor campaigned for a more accessible government and said he feels Radcliff’s potential is sizable.

He pointed to two new hotels in Radcliff and several new restaurants, such as Colton’s Steakhouse, to emphasize his point.

“America is too great for small dreams, and I believe the same is true for Radcliff,” he said.

The Radcliff Chamber also provided several gifts to Fort Knox Public Affairs Officer Connie Shaffery, who is retiring.

“I’m cleaning up,” Shaffery said to laughter as she accepted the tokens.

Kendra Stewart, immediate past president of the Radcliff chamber, referred to Shaffery as the “PAO princess.”

But Shaffery is quick to describe herself as a U.S. Army brat and said she grew up moving from post to post. She thought she found a stable home in Pennsylvania when her father retired there, but she soon became a military wife and her travels resumed.

When her husband decided to take a job at Fort Knox, she said she did not feel ready for another move. Looking back, she said, it was the best relocation she has made. The communities surrounding Fort Knox, she added, are the warmest and most loving she’s encountered.

“This is our home and this will always be our home,” she said.

As the luncheon closed, John Wright, Radcliff chamber president, assured businesses in attendance that commerce in Radcliff will continue to progress and the chamber’s influence will remain. Advisory councils have been created for each city, and Radcliff will start hosting breakfasts in April to replace the luncheons.

“When business grows, everything grows,” Wright said.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.