By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
Some new Christmas lighting will be going up on three Corbin streets in the weeks ahead after the Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission voted to approve buying the lighting during their regular meeting Monday.
The lighting will come from Holiday Bright Lights of Corbin, part of Celebration Lighting Kentucky. The company will replace 100 current holiday lighting fixtures on Master Street, Kentucky Avenue and Cumberland Falls Highway with 100 new Christmas fixtures involving four holiday designs of 25 fixtures each.
Tourism Commission member Tania Marcum said there were 200 light poles on the three streets where Christmas lights hang.
Marcum, who recently worked on a committee to look into the lights, added the new lights would be on half of the poles in the area, with existing lights remaining on the other poles.
Remaining spots on the poles along the three streets would be filled in with vinyl and ink signs designed by Main Street Corbin and made by the city’s Public Works Department.
The deal comes with the tourism board buying new Christmas lighting up to $21,100 for the next three years, which includes installation, maintenance and storage for the 100 lights. After three years, the cost will be $58 per pole for storage, maintenance and installation, or $5,800 a year.
Kyle Perkins, a certified public accountant who works with the tourism commission, told members there was $45,000 in this year’s budget allotted for Christmas activities.
When commission Vice-Chairman Tom Rose asked Holiday Bright Lights’ Daniel Mackey, “When can we get them?”, Mackey told him, “I’ll check and call you tomorrow.”
The lighting is based on availability. Marcum noted the new lighting does not involve Main Street, which already has its own Christmas lights.
To help pay for the vinyl and ink signage, the board also approved allocating $3,000 toward purchasing Christmas and Holiday banners and brackets made by city Public Works.
Later in the session, a $1,000 donation to the Border Bowl Committee was approved, the same as in previous years. It goes towards putting on the annual “Border Bowl” football game, held at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg. That contest pits the best high school seniors in Kentucky versus the best from Tennessee, and is scheduled for Jan. 12.
In accepting the donation, Brad Ingle of the committee told tourism board the January game will be seen in 16 states over a regional TV network, Fox College Sports. The game had been previously seen on Hazard’s WYMT-TV.
WYMT was at the tourism board’s session, with station Account Executive Randy Brock making a presentation on a new show called “Go Local.” The hour-long program features segments on historic sites, fun things to do, dining, recreation and tourist-oriented attractions, and is taped in Kentucky and Tennessee. Some segments are also localized for southeastern and eastern Kentucky, according to Brock.
“We’ve done 35 shows so far, and we’ve found a niche in tourism. We’ve done stories on zip lining on Black Mountain in Harlan County, the Benham Inn, and the Paintsville Country Club,” Brock said.
The station currently runs the show Wednesdays at 7 p.m., and is repeated on Sundays. The show is also seen on WYMT’s sister stations in Lexington, Bowling Green and Knoxville, Tenn.
Brock told board members sponsorship to be on a program segment would cost $400, which the tourism commission could tie in with the Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA). He said once a segment of the program about Corbin was produced, the board could use the video and put it on their website.
“We would love for you to do that. It’s a win-win situation,” Brock pointed out.
No action was taken after the presentation.
During the financial report, Perkins updated members on the board’s audit, saying it’s still underway.
“Cloyd and Associates has assured me that audit will be ready at next month’s meeting.”
Perkins added the current cash balance is at $277,375, and after some more checks coming in from sources including the City of Corbin are delivered, the cash balance would be around $300,000 by the end of the month.
He mentioned that both Landmark Inn and Mountain View Lodge were current on their taxes owed to the commission. Landmark Inn is now under new management, and that the commission was looking taking action against the inn’s previous owners.
The financial report was approved, as were the minutes of the meetings on Oct. 15 and 19.