By Jeff Noble / staff writer
A bicycle pump track will be built near the Barbourville Waterpark, after the Barbourville Tourist and Recreation Commission agreed Monday to donate $2,000 to Union College’s Cycling Program to get the work done.
Board members said at their regular meeting that the approval is final only if the City of Barbourville can provide insurance coverage for the site. Mayor David Thompson, who is also on the Tourism Board, said it shouldn’t be a problem and that he would know in the next couple of days on the insurance to cover the track.
Approval came after Union’s Head Cycling Coach, Peter Haile, made the proposal to the board and its Director, Denise Wainscott.
According to Mountain Bike magazine’s website, a “pump track” is a loop of dirt track that can be ridden without pedaling. “A rider uses the rollers and berms to ‘pump’ speed into his bike without having to pedal. You generate speed when you ride over the bumps by pulling up and then pushing down,” said one article about the basics of the track.
Haile said the best analogy to describe the bicycle pump track would be it’s what he called, “a walking track for bikes.”
“It’s very safe with rollers and dirt berms. I’m originally from Colorado and they’re putting these in Colorado, out West and in British Columbia. We need permission, we need to think about maintenance and location, like near the Waterpark, some dirt, a small amount of money, some basic signs and it needs to be in a place where parents can be comfortable with their kids. Any sort of bike can work. A children’s bike, a mountain bike, anything with tires. It’s not a racetrack, it’s non-competitive and it’s for everyone. You just show up,” he told Wainscottt and board members.
Haile added he thought of the bicycle pump track after several people came to him asking about recreation in the city.
“I get this from people that there’s not much to do in Barbourville. But there is, and people need to know about it. It would take a weekend to do it. About 10 people to do it in 20 hours, and we could have it ready by May 5, or in August, when school starts back,” he said.
Wainscott noted the bicycle pump track had gotten approved from the Knox County Health Coalition, and because it would be located near the city Waterpark, “it would be a safe place.”
In addition, Haile told the board the track would be maintained by the college’s cycling team, and thought “it would be great to start a mountain bike league in this region” if the track can be built.
After agreeing to have the track built before May 5 so it is ready for use this summer, approval was given to donate the money and get the project started, pending insurance coverage from the city.
What to do with the 72-foot-long mural at the intersection of Daniel Boone Drive and Cumberland Avenue was also discussed. Wainscott said she talked with a muralist last week, who told her the present mural could not be touched up and would have to be started from scratch.
“The muralist added that building a front panel for the mural would cost $13,000 and would be a significant cost,” she noted, adding the mural is in disrepair due to weather and maintenance needed.
Board members decided to table what they would do to the mural until their next meeting in May, but also to go ahead and paint and possibly sandblast the wall where the mural is located.
Action was taken to make a budget adjustment by allocating $1,000 from Barbourville Tourism’s contingency fund to be used by the city’s Main Street program, which is also located with the tourism board.
Wainscott said at the present, the city’s Main Street program has no allocations, and is on affiliate status with the national Main Street Program.
“It’s getting no federal money, but I think we should have money in their budget. Keep in mind when we have our Christmas parade, that’s Main Street. That’s downtown Barbourville,” she said.
Board member Randell Young updated them on the project he’s worked on to install new phone lines and a fire alarm at the tourism office.
“We’ll need two lines. We’ve asked the phone company to do two lines with rollover. It would cost $80-$90 a month for phone lines, and we can save some money, instead of paying $210-$220 like we are now. On the fire alarm, the city and county’s 911 can receive the alarm at the Tourism Office. We’ve got plenty of time, until October, to finish that,” Young reported.
In other actions, Larry Cain was approved to join the Tourism Board of Directors. He’ll fill the position formerly held by Margaret Cain. Also, the minutes and financial report of the March 18 meeting was approved.
Wainscott reminded the board they would need to get the commission’s budget ready by May 31, to present it to the City of Barbourville by June 1. And she reminded them about the 1st Annual “Barbourville Barbeque Cook-off,” to be held at Thompson Park on June 1.
“While it’s on the first of June, those cooks who will or want to be in the cook-off can set up in the park on May 31. We’re still taking sponsors for the event until the middle of next week, and we hope to get more teams. I’d be thrilled to get at least a dozen teams to the cook-off this year,” she noted.