Kenneth H. Long had the foresight to be part of a group of local businessmen who worked to bring the outlet mall and needed infrastructure to Dawson County.
Tomorrow Long’s dedication to Dawson County will be memorialized with the renaming and unveiling of the K.H. Long Government Center.
Long was Dawson County’s last sole commissioner when the county acquired a federally-seized building at the intersection of Maple Street and Hwy. 53 West.
Known until now as the Fouts Building, the building initially served as the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and 911 Center. It was recently renovated and now houses the county’s public works, information technology, environmental health and drug and alcohol treatment court offices, as well as the Red Cross, No One Alone and Family Connection.
Clark Beusse, who suggested naming the building in Long’s honor, said the former commissioner would be pleased the county is using the site rather than buying additional property or buildings to use for county business.
“When he was sole commissioner, he had the county at heart with the decisions he made, and he was one to run a tight budget,” Beusse said.
“Renovating this building so the county can continue using it is something he would have been pleased with.”
Long, who died Sept. 12, 2007, made the decision to buy the seized property for $139,000. It’s now valued at more than $800,000, according to tax records.
Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner said renaming the building serves two purposes.
“First, it would end a nefarious association with a drug-related acquisition, and second it would pay tribute to Kenneth Long, a dedicated leader who worked tirelessly to significantly shape the future of Dawson County,” he said.
The community is invited to attend the dedication ceremony of the K.H. Long Government Center at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18. Tours of the recently renovated building will be available.
E-mail Michele Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org.