We are a rural county of strength and unity. In the end of June 2020, I spoke with Ron Schmalzle, Pike County Commissioner. Ron had been working with Mike Sullivan of the County Economic Development Authority. The County has about 932 businesses and 4000 single owner businesses. Zero closures occurred, reportedly, to Covid. Businesses were able to receive government loans and or furlough staff. As loan monies terminate then an impact may be seen.
Self-employed individuals appear to be finding their way. The construction field is observed as doing very well. Foreclosures, due to Covid, are illegal and it is being seen county residents are paying their county taxes and there is expectation same will occur with school taxes.
Our County population, based on garbage collection and other metrics, are about at average July and August levels. We are a population around 57,000 and exceeded approximately 100,000 at times in recent observations. We also have seen real estate property closings rising.
Pike does need improved infrastructure, urgent care sites and a technical two year college or community college. Commissioner Schmalzle noted change can be achieved with small steps. We are a great tourism county. We have many natural resource opportunities. Concepts, like Zipper Junction, are additional wonderful ventures.
Community communication is vital. Resident involvement and questioning blended with solution ideas are what government is about. Commissioner Schmalzle was very supportive and informative throughout our late June 2020 phone call. Our County residents are proving by working together we are surviving and beating this pandemic.
Please shop local, comply with Covid related protection requests, seek information from official venues, and support local groups who make masks, share Covid tips and donate when and where you can. Pike stands for “People Investing Kindness Everywhere”.