Judge-Executive Curtis Dame is a new member of the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) governing board.

Dame was appointed to the board during KHS’ annual meeting Nov. 5 and already has his sights set on making a difference for the county in terms of preservation and getting younger folks interested in the county’s history and culture.

“It was very humbling, because I am very young,” Dame said. “I am one of the younger board members that are on this governing board now. I hope that people in my age group will realize just how effective it can be to honor our historical preservation efforts here in the county. We might not have all the major technological developments, but we’ve got a sense of heritage here that runs deep — and I think that’s our key calling card, for people to experience an environment that they don’t get in the city.”

Dame mentioned he wants to offer experiences outsiders don’t get a chance to have often.

“We can be the place to travel to for (people) just to see the stars,” Dame said. “I grew up with that — I grew up with being able to walk out on the back porch and see stars at night. I take that for granted. I think there are things here that we can market effectively that we assume that everybody gets to enjoy. I think that’s what I can bring to the table — is this rural Kentucky experience that I think the average individual that lives in the city is itching to experience.”

Dame has already begun getting his feet wet in some of programming, such as the effective implementation of the historical roadside markers and emphasis of the Kentucky Main Street Program.

“(The Kentucky Main Street) program provides a conduit to educate volunteers in each respective city on what … revenue programs are available or tax incentives to help preserve downtown in all of our cities,” Dame said. “Right out of the gate, those are programs that I’m going to really look heavily at … and how to leverage those so that we can make our downtown in each of our cities attractive to not only business development but for tourists that want to come back here. We know that we have indirect draws of individuals that are here for history — I think that’s how we add validity to our tourism aspects to the county. We just need to market it better.”

Dame said that the Kentucky Main Street Program would preserve historical buildings, which is similar to the energy efficiency program involving the reconstruction of the county courthouse, sheriff’s office and health department building; which Dame believes was a help in getting elected.

“I think that’s what’s led to my appointment in this … governing board,” Dame said. “I have a personal passion (to) preserve county facilities.”

Still, Dame is enjoying being a part of something that he has a keen interest in.

“I’m very excited to be on this board,” Dame said. “I’ve already had quite a few conversations already about how we already leverage these resources for the county and the region. I’ve already offered my services to the (Green River Area Development District) executive board, which is comprised of judges and mayors from across the region, to help not only provide representation for McLean County but for the Green River region as well in how we help our partner counties succeed in preservation. I think that’s how we can lead as a county.”

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