By Jeff Noble / Staff writer
The big breaks for busineparkingss owners in the City of Corbin will begin in three weeks, after the Corbin City Commission approved the second reading Monday night of a revised ordinance which halves the costs of business licenses.
The vote was unanimous on the new ordinance, which amends the existing business license ordinance. After legal publication, the updated ordinance becomes law on Tuesday, Jan. 1 — just 21 days away.
The license tax or fee for restaurants, lunch rooms and dining rooms, including carryout and delivery, will be reduced in one of the sections of the revised ordinance. Fees and taxes for businesses selling groceries, vegetables and fruits will also be reduced in another section of the ordinance. Yet another section will deal with both retail and wholesale merchants, while the updates to the ordinance will add certain professions, occupations, trades and businesses to be subject to license fees and taxes. Management firms, bingo parlors, consultants, and operating an oil or gas drilling company are examples of businesses now listed in a new section of the revised ordinance.
City officials said at last month’s meeting that Corbin’s tax on alcoholic beverages has made up the difference in the budget, and that it was time to help both longtime and new merchants in the city.
Approval was given to the second reading of another ordinance that would establish a no-parking zone on the west side of Main Street starting at the intersection of Main and 21st Street on the south end of town. And two more ordinances got their first reading — both of them dealing with placing a stop sign at the intersection of Cloverbrook Lane and Covey Trail, as well as at the intersection of Covey Trail and Setters Point. Both were unanimously approved and will get their second readings at the next session.
Some better lighting will soon be shining down on the municipal parking lot near downtown bordering Depot and Monroe streets, and Gordon Avenue. The commission authorized City Manager Marlon Sams to advertise for bids for the lighting project, which Sams said would put five new lights in the area, “similar to what they have on Main Street. We already have the money available.”
Main Street Corbin Director Andy Salmons noted the project’s a collaboration with his organization and the city, with money for the lights coming from a fund for Main Street Corbin that currently has $35,000 allocated to lighting.
“We’re wanting to ‘humanize’ the parking lots. A dimly-lit parking lot looks bleak, and can be dangerous. This is the first component. The things that need to be looked at after the lighting will be landscaping of planters, parking layout, green features like pervious pavements, which allows rainwater to go back into our groundwater supply and takes the load off our storm drains.”
An artist’s rendering of the parking lot before and after the changes showed a marked difference, according to Salmons, who did the rendering work.
“We’re looking at that in the next phase — deciding on the scope and scale of the project. I have spoken to some architects, and we’re looking at some possibilities, depending on our limited budget. We’ll use our funds wisely,” he pointed out.
Salmons added he felt sure the lighting improvements on the lot would benefit Corbin’s Nibroc Festival next summer. The parking lot is the scene of many carnival rides set up for the annual August event.
“I feel that Nibroc will benefit from the upgraded infrastructure. There might have to be some adapting to different layouts, but more lighting and readily-available power supplies could only help at Nibroc time.”
Holiday closings were set by the commission during the meeting. Corbin City Hall will be closed on Christmas Eve, which is Monday, Dec. 24, and on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25. City Hall will be open on New Year’s Eve day, Monday, Dec. 31, but will be closed the following day, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 (New Year’s Day). In addition, garbage pickup in Corbin on Christmas week will be early on Wednesday, Dec. 26, while garbage pickup in the city will be Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013.
Among other actions at Monday’s meeting, the commission approved an interlocal agreement with the anti-drug organization Operation UNITE, as well as a resolution adopting the Cumberland Valley Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Later, they went into executive session, to discuss personnel and pending litigation. No formal action was taken. After the executive session, the commission went back into regular session to announce that Rodney Gray would not be retained as an employee in the Recycling Department. In addition, Sams announced that city employee C. J. Wilson would be moved from part-time to full-time status.
Four city Public Works employees were also recognized for helping an elderly woman with moving her belongings that had been stored in her home’s attic for many years. The recognition came from the city by way of Caren Long, an Oregon woman who has a mother-in-law who was living in Corbin at the time, and because of health issues, was moving to Lexington to live with one of her sons. The four employees — Mike Wagers, Robert Barton, Jack Strickland and Public Works Director Gary Kelly — will receive certificates of appreciation from the city in the upcoming days.