As one Breathitt County man's life in public office ends, a project close to heart is nearly up and running. Some say the project will bring money and tourists to the region.
Outgoing Breathitt County Judge Executive Lewis Warrix's term in office may culminate Thursday, but it was a Wednesday afternoon ribbon cutting ceremony for a brand new elk viewing site that Warrix says may be the beginning of a bright future for Breathitt County.
"I always envisioned that as being a place you could drive up on a hard top road, and stand up on that elevated area and look at the views of the elk," Warrix said.
Warrix says the South Fork viewing site has long been a dream of his, but it's the reaction and help he got from others in the community including local government, coal groups, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife that's truly made it a special project to work on.
"We do try to be the good steward, we try to put back, and have the land in as good or better shape than we found it," said Don Gibson with International Coal Group Inc.
"This elk viewing site is going to attract people from all over Kentucky and surrounding states," said Danny Watson with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Which officials hope will turn Breathitt County and all of Eastern Kentucky, into a tourist destination. A chance for those across the country to embrace the natural resources of the region.
"I just feel really good about a project that brings community together, and it will be something that lives forever I think," Warrix said.
Which is why Warrix says that on his last days in office, he's enjoyed the journey as much as the final destination.
Officials say they're just putting some finishing touches on the new elk viewing site and it should be open to the public very shortly.