Elizabethtown City Council on Monday filled a vacancy on the Elizabethtown Tourism Commission left by Jim Long’s sudden resignation last month.
Walker recommended local businessman Carl Swope as Long's successor for a three-year term set to expire on March 15, 2016. The council also reappointed Heidi Patterson to the commission as a motel representative and Chris Flanagan as a restaurant representative for three-year terms.
Walker said he recommended Swope for the empty position because he is a lifelong native in tune with the local community, investing dollars into the sponsorships of local events and supporting growth in Elizabethtown.
“He supports tourism, he supports the (Elizabethtown) Sports Park and he supports what tourism is all about,” Walker said.
Walker also noted the wealth of small business experience Swope brings to the tourism bureau.
Long tendered his resignation to Elizabethtown City Council two weeks ago after serving nine years on the commission in various roles, including chairman and treasurer. He thanked the city for the opportunity to serve.
Long said he wanted to be remembered for his contributions to the establishment of the Elizabethtown Sports Park and noted other work done during his tenure, such as the renovation of the Historic State Theater.
Long said he resigned because Walker informed him he would not be reappointed at the expiration of his term in March. He cited unfair treatment by the city but did not elaborate further.
Because members serve at the will of the mayor, Long said, he felt it best to resign and give Walker room to recommend his replacement.
Walker said he contacted Long a few weeks ago to inform him he would not recommend his re-appointment to council members once the term expired because he had decided to move in another direction with the position.
Walker said he did not “skirt the issue” with Long and does not believe he was mistreated in any way by the city.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other business
The city honored the Elizabethtown High School cheerleading squad with a proclamation for capturing the Class 1-A large division state championship last month at the first Kentucky High School Athletic Association Competitive Cheer Championship. The squad filled up the small council chambers to receive the proclamation as Mayor Tim Walker and the council congratulated them on their hard work and devotion to their activity.
The city approved the first reading of an ordinance issuing approximately $5,955,000 in general obligation refunding bonds. Finance Director Steve Park said the move essentially allows the city to refinance old bonds taken out for the Elizabethtown Police Station and Elizabethtown Fire Station No. 3 in 2003. Park said this is the first year the city was eligible to refinance the bonds at a lower rate, which should create a savings of about $1.3 million over a 20-year period.
The city accepted the bid from Phillips Bros. Construction for the Towne Drive extension to Veterans Way at $1,484,968.63. It was the lowest of nine bids with the highest bid climbing to $2.4 million. Robert Bush, director of stormwater management, said the contract allows for around 270 working days with an estimated finish by year’s end.
The council approved a two-year sponsorship agreement at the Elizabethtown Sports Park with Blue Bunny Ice Cream that will produce $5,000 annually and provide the city with a $2 rebate for each case sold.
The council approved a contract with American Engineers at $144,273.62 to design the Cardinal Drive widening project.
The city accepted a bid from Bowling Green-based Scott & Murphy Inc. for phase one of the Hawkins Drive steel basin improvements, which will replace a culvert on Valley Creek Road that causes flooding problems for businesses and residents during large rains, Bush said. The bid was approved at $304,799 and was the lower of two bids. The higher bid checked in at just under $380,000. The project is a partnership with the state, which will provide $200,000 for the work, according to a city memorandum. Bush said the contractor will have around 150 days to complete the work once started.
Elizabethtown-Hardin County Heritage Council Executive Director Heath Seymour told council members the city needs to focus on positive aspects of downtown and its capacity to attract new businesses after Hardin Fiscal Court voted last week to move the bulk of county offices out of the downtown district.“It’s not what we hoped for, but it’s what we have,” Seymour said. He said downtown is netting new business every month and new events are in the works, but a redoubling of efforts is in order to fill empty spaces and promote vacant buildings as attractive locations for businesses.
The city approved an agreement with Photo Science Inc. for several services, including aerial photography and digital mapping, at $105,047, which was below budget. City Engineer Scott Reynolds said the work has not been done since 2007 and will give the city a look at new development. The photography is sought by the city every five to seven years, Reynolds said.
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