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
  • 0721 WEB drugs and money seized.jpg Six arrested in drug investigation

    Times-Tribune
    Staff Report
    Six people were arrested Saturday on drug charges after a joint investigation by the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office and the London Police Department, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0721 WEB shelter cat 3458.jpg Shelter seeks help

    By Kristina Smith
    Staff Writer
    Renovating a 10,000-square-foot building isn’t easy, but Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter Director Deanna Myers is up to the task.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hwy. 192 widening hearing set

    By Kristina Smith
    Staff Writer
    A public information hearing Thursday will discuss the widening of KY-192.

    July 21, 2014

  • 0721 WEB Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter from 2012 "Touch-A-Truck".jpg Popular ‘Touch a Truck’ returns

    By Jeff Noble
    Staff Writer
    What do kids want to be when they grow up?

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0721 WEB flower shoe 3537.jpg Mountain Laurel flower show a success

    By Kristina Smith
    Staff Writer
    “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” was the theme for Saturday’s flower show presented by the Mountain Laurel District.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Today's Headlines: July 21, 2014

    Six arrested in drug investigation

    Shelter seeks help: Rebuilding continues, Knox-Whitley animal shelter needs more volunteers, donations

    Popular ‘Touch a Truck’ returns: Corbin Public Library event wraps up summer reading program

    Mountain Laurel Flower Show a success

    Tripped Up: Tough loss follows Saturday's walk-off win

    Comeback Effort: Knox County recovers from 24-0 loss, grabs 4-2 win in pool play

    July 21, 2014

  • 0719 Barbourville Police Chief Mike Broughton (close up).jpg Barbourville police chief retiring

    After nearly three years, Barbourville Police Chief Mike Broughton wants to take a rest.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0716 Dirk Shelton in his Air Force uniform.jpg Shelton funeral may be held midweek

    Arrangements are still incomplete as of Friday night, but family members have told the Times-Tribune the funeral of Staff Sergeant Dirk Shelton may be held either this Wednesday or Thursday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Part of Ky. 80 to be closed for bridge repair

    This friendly reminder for the weekend — part of Hwy. 80 east of London in Laurel County will be closed beginning Monday as crews from Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 11 office repair a bridge.

    July 20, 2014

  • 0718 DUCK FOR WEB.jpg Quack Pack

    About 50 ducks waddled up the banks near the Engineer Street Bridge Wednesday during a sunny and pleasant afternoon.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter