By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
Both the Corbin Tourism Commission and Main Street Corbin had visions and goals lined out at the Tourism Commission’s regular meeting Monday. As it turned out, both groups shared much in common.
Beautification along the Cumberland Falls Highway, ideas for improving the look of properties on Main Street, banners for both Main Street and the Falls Highway, and improved signs for visitors were among goals listed by Tourism Board Chairman Sudhir Patel in a letter passed around to board members at the session.
He pointed out the list was not in any order, and could be used to help plan the board’s budget over the next few years.
“I just want everybody to think about all these things, and get ideas on what can be done and how they can be improved,” Patel said Monday.
Other goals were brought about by Main Street Corbin’s Manager, Andy Salmons. With computerized photographs and information available, Salmons discussed a master plan to extend work proposed for the downtown area along the Cumberland Falls Highway and Master Street.
Salmons said Main Street Corbin would like to expand sidewalks, planters and have better traffic control and signage in those areas, and would include bike paths, walking and jogging area and small “pocket parks” in some downtown spaces.
“We need to have a bike, jogging and walking infrastructure to be competitive... This will be a multiphase project over a period of years. It won’t come overnight. We’ll get our downtown up to par, then expand over time. It’s all about planning, getting the whole community involved with 21st Century infrastructure,” Salmons told the board.
Salmons added he’d like to see Corbin become a “Trail Town,” which would feature bicycle, horse riding and hiking trails.
To get the plan into place, Salmons said an engineering and architectural firm would first have to be hired. Saying Main Street Corbin already has $55,000 budgeted from the City of Corbin for the work, he asked if the Tourism Board would match the city’s money already allocated, to make a total of $110,000.
“The $110,000 is an estimate of what other communities have done, like London and Scottsville. Remember, it’s just a plan,” Salmons noted.
Corbin City Manager Marlon Sams asked board members to listen to what could be done with Main Street Corbin’s master plan proposal.
“It’s a start. We’re starting to see some revitalization. If we don’t do something, we’re going to get left behind,” Sams said.
Board members agreed to take Salmon’s master plan request under advisement.
Among other actions, they agreed to Main Street Corbin’s requests to pay $3,500 for fall decorations, which would cover the downtown area and be extended to the Corbin Public Library. Those decorations will be put up next week — the third week of September. Another $2,500 was approved to pay for Main Street’s “Octoberfest” event next month. The money for both requests was already allocated in this year’s budget.
Also approved by the Tourism Board was a motion to have Corbin’s City Attorney send a letter to both Mountain View Lodge and the Landmark Inn, asking the two motels to pay delinquent transient taxes due the Tourism Commission. Patel said Landmark Inn owed for last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, while Mountain View Lodge owed for the last two quarters of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.
Monday’s meeting was also the first for the board’s new administrative assistant, Lauren House. The Corbin native was named for the position on Aug, 22, and began work Aug. 27. House formerly worked for Marriott International in Lexington where she was the front office supervisor for Marriott’s Griffin Gate Resort.
“Coming from Lexington where they’re really focused on tourism, I hope to bring a lot to the table. Now that I’ve come back home, I’m looking forward to bringing new ideas and updating things here,” she said after the meeting.
House takes over the position once held by Karen Vanover, who continues to recuperate after being injured in an accident late last year.
By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
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