TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

January 15, 2014

W’burg mayor speaks to Chamber

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Looking at the city of Williamsburg through Mayor Roddy Harrison’s eyes, the approximately 80 people attending Tuesday’s monthly membership luncheon of the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce got a good glimpse not only of progress made, but also into the possible future of the city.

Harrison was the featured speaker during Tuesday’s luncheon, held at the Cumberland Inn in Williamsburg. He was introduced by Jim Dorn with L&N Federal Credit Union, sponsors of the luncheon.

The mayor offered the “state of the city” address, opening with the loss of CSC and SEKRI in the city limits.

However, Harrison added they are doing whatever they can to replace those jobs lost.

The mayor pointed out the recent addition of Dairy Queen to I-75’s Exit 11, and said that another chain fast-food restaurant is set to open its doors next to El Dorados off that same exit.

While Harrison would not commit to naming that impending restaurant, he did tell Chamber members the business offers more than 30 varieties of milkshakes.

Concerning other development off Exit 11, work continues to progress in building an 8-space strip mall — and there are possibly two potential leases of spaces to corporate retail groups, according to Harrison.

But Exit 11 isn’t the city’s only target for improvement.

“We’re talking about downtown development,” Harrison said. “One (building downtown) has been remodeled — the inside looks fantastic — and I believe we’ll have more (building owners) to follow.”

The mayor said that he’s received calls from parties who have expressed interest in investing into the downtown district.

He noted the demolition of what was formerly known as the Gorman-Jones building in downtown Williamsburg is under way. “We had great hopes for that building,” he said. “But it was too far gone — it became too much of a health and safety risk.”

The next topic addressed by Harrison Tuesday was changes to the city’s Kentucky Splash Water Park. “We’ve now opened our stand-alone, Tiki-style gift shop,” he said, adding “it’s been a huge success.”

The “Parrot Hut,” as the gift shop is known, “has been used 10 times more than the old gift shop,” Harrison said.

The city also completed renovation work on Tadpole Island, the children’s pool at the Water Park.

Also added to the city’s recreational opportunities was the addition of the Skate Park. Harrison said the city partnered with the Kiwanis Club and tourism to get the park open in 2013. “It is a huge success,” he said. “(We got) the kids involved (with this project) — it’s their design, it’s their idea.

“(This park’s) not ours — it’s theirs.”

The mayor then talked about the impending construction project on South 10th Street — which will raise the road out of the flood plain, and ultimately have the bridge raised 12-14 feet. Also, the water and sewer lines will be moved to the south side of that street. The city approved the sale of three small parcels of property in that area during the city council’s regular meeting Monday — which was one of the last things to complete before the state gives the go ahead to start the project.

“Williamsburg’s Exit 11 will never look the same,” Harrison said.

Concerning the future of Williamsburg?

“We’ll never give up on filling jobs,” Harrison said. “We need to find Williamsburg’s niche.”

The city lacks a bustling industrial area. “We just don’t have an industrial park like our neighbors have,” Harrison said. “So what does Williamsburg need to do.”

One thing the city did, the mayor said, was to purchase the rights-of-way along U.S. 25 toward Exit 15 — building to the north.

But Harrison feels the focus should be the city’s southern exit. “Our niche just might be tourism and recreation,” he said. “Let’s develop Exit 11 — this could be our major contribution to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and it would help us, too.”

Other possibilities the city may look at is the addition of Disc Golf, and a possible RV park. “It’s all right there,” Harrison said.

He told Chamber members that he’s talked with four different landowners as well as engineers — whom he feels are on board with turning the Water Park side of Exit 11 into a tourist destination. “We’re looking into it — heavily,” Harrison said.

He added the city and the University of the Cumberlands are “in discussion” about a joint venture using their land toward KY 92W — “to come together for a golf course.”

“We’re talking right now,” the mayor said. “Nothing is accomplished without at least a dialogue.”

He feels the city has a “good shot at making this dream happening.”

“(This is) a big facelift for the city of Williamsburg,” Harrison said. “We want to be the first place (travelers) stop going north on I-75, and the last stop (for travelers) going south on I-75.”

The next meeting of the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is slated for 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 at the Technology Center in Corbin. Chamber President Bruce Carpenter announced Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney will be the featured speaker.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0801 Honor pic 6 FOR WEB.jpg A Well-Deserved Honor

    It was a spring night in May 1981 about eight or so miles south of Corbin.
    A crowd of folks were there — mothers, fathers, children and more.
    Musicians had prepared for a night of music at a concert open to the public.
    The venue was the Frontier Village Park, and many people were in attendance.
    Deputy Joseph Russell Jones was one of many law enforcement personnel assigned to security detail that day.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman who caused fatal crash enters plea agreement

    A Mount Vernon woman who caused a two-car crash the night before Thanksgiving in November 2013 that killed 58-year-old Darlene Woods entered into a plea agreement Friday that amended a murder charge against her to second-degree manslaughter.

    August 1, 2014

  • 0801 Outside of Bolton home at 330 Ott Road FOR WEB.jpg House heavily damaged in Moore Hill fire

    Roger Bolton said the structure fire that heavily damaged his home in Moore Hill early Thursday morning was bad. But it could have been much worse.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Flex Program’ to earn high school diploma offered by Corbin schools

    For some students, the dream of earning a high school diploma can be out of reach because of various reasons beyond their control.
    But a new program to help students obtain that coveted diploma is being offered by the Corbin Independent Schools.

    August 1, 2014

  • Mobile mammography center to visit Corbin next week

    What’s 39 feet long, rides down the road, stops in stores across the Southeastern United States, and can help save lives in the fight against breast cancer?

    August 1, 2014

  • Most of Ky. 1259 to be reduced to one lane

    If you drive Scuffletown Road (Ky. 1259) in Corbin for the next two weeks, be prepared for some delays.

    August 1, 2014

  • Trial for Tristan Hall postponed

    The trial for a man facing charges in two separate cases in Whitley County has been postponed.

    August 1, 2014

  • TODAY'S HEADLINES — Aug. 1, 2014

    Jones presented with Purple Heart, Medal of Honor

    Woman who caused fatal crash enters plea agreement

    House heavily damaged in Moore Hill fire

    ‘Flex Program’ to earn high school diploma offered by Corbin schools

    August 1, 2014

  • 0731 Brad Connell & Amanda Matthews at Sanders Park FOR WEB.jpg Made to honor

    While lunch hour traffic on Main Street headed north Wednesday, Amanda Matthews and Brad Connell were putting the final touches on their latest work of art.
    Inside Sanders Park — a place where visitors and local residents alike can stop to rest, as well as to honor the Corbin man who brought Kentucky Fried Chicken to the world — five large plaques had just been installed.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man wanted for stealing vehicle

    A Williamsburg man considered “possibly armed and dangerous” continues to be sought by officers with the Williamsburg Police Department.

    July 31, 2014