City council touches on loans, recent event

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Dispatcher retires after 20 years

By Brandon Mattingly

Mayor John W. Cecconi updated city officials on Springfield’s outstanding loans at last week’s city council meeting, stating that he wanted everyone to know where they stood heading into the new fiscal year.

Cecconi said the council needs to be aware of any unpaid debts before moving forward with other projects the rest of the year.

Remaining payments (estimates)
• Street sweeper - $86,000
• Fire truck - $56,000
• Springfield Police building - $136,000
• Police vehicles - $36,000
• Total owed - $314,000

Also discussed last week was the amount of money that has been put into improvements at Idle Hour Park in recent months, which was estimated at being around $44,000. That total is not entirely based on preparation for this month’s Little League tournaments, as the standard maintenance and repairs that are performed regularly is also factored into that cost.

City officials were pleased with the turnout and execution of the Independence Day celebration in downtown Springfield on July 3, and they were particularly encouraged by what they saw with the change in venue.

Among the benefits of moving the event to the parking lot behind the Washington County Judicial Center — the event was formerly held on Main Street — officials noted having additional space, better acoustics for the band and other entertainment, a more aesthetically pleasing setup and the fact that the event no longer impeded traffic through Springfield.

Main Street Executive Director Nell Haydon expressed her pleasure with the event and said that being able to display the work of local artists was one of the more underrated parts of the event that made it work so well.

“The Independence Day celebration was a great success,” Haydon said. “The artists had a great time, and if you know of any other artists in Springfield that might wish to participate, I would love to have their name to invite them.”

With the African American Heritage Festival scheduled for Friday, Aug. 1 on Main Street, it was also suggested to move that event to the judicial center area as well. Some vendors have already been contacted and arrangements made to use buildings along Main Street, including the old Louisville Store, so there is a question of being able to change the venue on such short notice. Officials said the idea will be discussed over the next two weeks before a decision is made.

The theme of this year’s celebration will be African Americans in health-related fields. The festival will start with food vendors opening at 6 p.m. on Aug. 1, with the parade to follow at 6:30 p.m. and the Jimmy Church Band performing from 8 to 11 p.m.

With a number of events already under their belt and several still to come, Haydon said it’s been a big summer for the local community.

“Every weekend this summer, Kathy (Elliott) and tourism and the park have been bringing people in,” she said. “It’s just been a wonderful summer.”

Other notes
• Bonnie Bartley recently retired from her position as an E-911 telecommunicator for the City of Springfield and Washington County, and she was recognized prior to last week’s meeting. Bartley started in the position in 1994 and was in her 20th year of service to the local community.

• A motion was made and accepted to approve a resolution pertaining to the water supply tie-in with Danville. The agreement will allow water lines between Washington County and Boyle County to be connected and used as an emergency supply if either county were to face a line break or other disaster.

• The Mackville Boosters approached city officials about purchasing chairs that were originally part of the Majestic Theater on Main St. in Springfield roughly 100 years ago. Due to their historical significance, many in attendance expressed interest in doing something with the chairs, though costs will determine what steps are taken next. It was noted that the chairs need to be restored, and City Administrator Laurie Smith said more information would be gathered before a decision was made. The chairs have been located on the second floor of the Mackville Post Office for a number of years, and one suggestion for future use was for the chairs to be placed in the Springfield Opera House as special seating.

• Tourism Director Kathy Elliott shared news that booklets assembled with the help of the local Young Ambassadors group are now finished and have been distributed to local businesses. The booklets include a magazine, local and state maps, tourism information and where to find restaurants, lodging, churches, performing arts and other local attractions.

“I’ve gotten excellent response from the businesses, especially the restaurants,” Elliott said. “What they liked best was that we have the upcoming events for the year on the back, so they could plan for it.”

• The Bourbon Chase will pass through Washington County once again this fall, though it will take on a different route than in years past.

It was determined that commuters along US-68 travel at high rates of speed, making the route potentially dangerous. Instead, runners will start at Maker’s Mark distillery in Loretto and travel down Burks Springs Road to St. Rose Road. Runners will then head down Smith Lane, where the first exchange will be located. They’ll then move to Booker Road and then to Lebanon Hill Road for the second exchange at the Springfield Farmers Market. The third exchange will be held at New Beginnings Baptist Church.

• Up next for the Central Kentucky Community Theatre will be the Youth Actors’ “Zombie Prom,” which will be held Thursday through Saturday (July 24-26) at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 27 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at centralkytheatre.com and local businesses.

Not in attendance at last week’s meeting was councilman Willie Ellery.