, Corbin, KY

Local News

July 15, 2014

Valentine resigns as tourism chair: Clouse, Sanborn welcomed as new board members


Staff Writer

A longtime fixture with the Barbourville Tourist and Recreation Commission since its beginning in 1993 resigned Monday.

Carolyn Valentine cited her present full-time job as the reason for stepping down, after 21 years with the commission.

“I have put much thought and prayer into this, but my schedule will not allow me to continue. It’s because my work schedule that I have to resign,” she told board members as she read her resignation letter during the commission’s regular meeting.

Adding that she had to drive from Middlesboro to be at Monday’s session, Valentine said,”My job takes me out of town, out of state and out of the country. …I was going to resign at the first of this year, but held off until today. …I’m willing to volunteer (for Barbourville Tourism) at any time.”

She dismissed herself from the meeting, held at the Visitor Center on High Street, and said she would “sit in as a citizen.”

Tourism Director Denise Wainscott praised Valentine for her hard work, vision and presence during her long tenure with the tourism commission, saying Valentine would be greatly missed.

“I loved every minute of it,” was Valentine’s reply.

Two new board members were welcomed to their first meeting. Both Tamara Sanborn and Scot Clouse were named last month, succeeding Marsha Dixon and Lynn Taylor.

Two presentations were given at the session, with one offering what Wainscott called “fresh ideas” for the city’s downtown area and beyond.

Robert Johnson — who works with Madison Avenue Designs in Georgetown, and who developed Barbourville’s murals — came armed with pictures and drawings on how to give some pop and pizazz to some buildings, parks and area places.  

“We did a walkabout, starting with the murals. We’ve got some growth, some vines, on the Memorial mural. The main Civil War Battle mural has got some grease on it, and it needs to be addressed, the we can go back, airbrush it and refurbish it. … the question is what can you do with what you have, and save money?” Johnson told board members.

One display he showed had to do with the Union College sign, while another dealt with an area at the Knox Street-Cumberland Gap Parkway crossing with a stone wall, handsome lettering and consolidating the area not one distinct look.

Some downtown buildings also got the treatment on what Johnson called, “keeping it simple, so it can be affordable. That’s the approach I took.”

Another Johnson drawing showed giving depth to “what’s already there” to the Quilter’s Park area, making the pocket park into what he called “a Quilter’s Garden area,” by using brighter colors of gold and yellow.

What really got the attention at the meeting was Johnson’s work on the building across the Visitor Center on High Street, giving a bright new look to Thelma’s Restaurant.

“I like telling the history of Barbourville on the designs,” said Wainscott, who wanted pricing on all of his design work

Johnson added, “If you like it, I might price it,” and said he’d get back with the board Thursday. He also agreed to leave the designs at the Visitor Center for the commission to look at and discuss.

The search for a permanent location for the Knox County Farmers’ Market was discussed by Cathryn Engle, with the Farmers’ Market and the “Lend A Hand” Center. Engle said what they had in mind was a pavilion and a phase two expansion, “where you could cook and do canning.”

“It could definitely be a tourist draw. It could be a multi-use pavilion, where other events could use it, like the Daniel Boone Festival and the Redbud Festival. I’d love Tourism to be more involved in this. We have a list of 10 possible places that could be used,” Engle stated.

She added the City of Barbourville’s going for the “Local Foods, Local Places” grant. A total of $650,000 is available from the grant for those who receive it, noting, “We’re probably looking at $50,000-$60,000 for us, locally.”

Frazier suggested to Engle the group look at the old Myers Chevrolet building on U. S. 25E as a possible permanent home for the Farmers’ Market.

“We’ve got a lot of positive feedback from local farmers on this,” she said on the idea of a permanent structure. Engle added both Barbourville Tourism and Main Street Barbourville were already on the list of Knox County Farmers’ Market supporters.

“All you need is an auditorium and a conference center,” said Frazier.

Citing last month’s first-ever Barbourville Bar-B-Que Cook-Off as a big success, Wainscott mentioned another one will be held next year at Thompson RV Park.

“I’m still getting thank you notes from those people who were in the cook teams who came to Barbourville for the Cook-Off last month. And they said they’ll be back next year. …But we need to add some other events to the Cook-Off next year,” she said.

Next year’s Barbourville Bar-B-Que Cook-Off is scheduled for June 19-20, 2015.

Also in her Director’s Report, Wainscott mentioned Barbourville Tourism received over $29,000 in tax collections last month, the commission’s most ever. She also pointed out that the first planning meeting for this year’s “Christmas in Barbourville” celebration would be Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Visitor’s Center.

Citing a need for strategic planning and marketing for adventure tourism and heritage tourism, she recommended the price for developing a strategic plan from Debby Spencer, with the WMTH (We Make Things Happen) Corporation. Spencer’s price was a one-time fee of $25,000 for a three-month contract.

A motion to advertise for a consultant for services on a contract for strategic planning for the tourism commission was approved. The commission will ask for bids and put the legal ad for the contract in the local papers.

It was also noted after Wainscott, Clouse and other Barbourville residents attended an Adventure Tourism meeting last Monday in Somerset. From the updates, it was mentioned that there may be canoe races in Barbourville, including a standard canoe marathon in October, during the Daniel Boone Festival.

Barbourville Tourism’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 11 at 2 p.m. at the Visitor Center.

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