Friday Night Live kicks off June 7

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By Brandon Mattingly

Springfield’s next big thing in entertainment was discussed at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, and according to Nell Haydon, director of Springfield Main Street/Renaissance, June 7 will mark the beginning of an exciting program for downtown.

Beginning in two weeks, the Friday Night Live summer series will provide a chance for guests to take in live music, great food and discounts at local businesses.

“What we’re going to be doing on those Friday nights, is we’re going to be having live music downtown,” Haydon said. “We’re going to have different demonstrations at the opera house and restaurant specials.”

Bands will typically perform in front of the 1816 Courthouse building, with Friday Night Live lasting until 8 p.m. each week. Some weeks will feature a jam session at the farmers market, and the arts will also have a major role in the event.

“The theater will be doing ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,’ Betty Brookfield will be at the Opera House doing her art demonstration, participating merchants will be open until 8 p.m., Marilyn Meyer is going to have her art studio open, Mordecai’s is going to have a one-man band on the front porch, and Hal B. Goode will be here with the radio station to talk to the merchants and talk to the patrons,” Haydon added.

This year’s Fourth of July celebration will also be part of the series, and will be held on Friday, July 5. A Fort Knox military band is scheduled to perform in front of the courthouse, and a Corvette car show is also expected to come to town. The fireworks show will be held that evening.

The City Council agreed last week to approve funding for radio ads and live coverage of the weekly event. Pyrotechnic Display Inc. was awarded its $5,000 bid for fireworks for the Independence Day event.

The city took a step toward receiving grant money for renovations to the Robertson building on Main Street last week as well. City Administrator Laurie Smith said a consultant needs to be hired before Springfield can advance with efforts to receive community development block grant and HUD (housing and urban development) funding.

The consultant is required by law to be certified through the block grant program, and is compensated through grant funds. Four proposals have been received by the city, and Mayor John Cecconi was charged with assigning a procurement committee last week to select a consultant.

Smith and John Parker Wharton were named to the committee, with one other person to be named later. Smith said funding won’t be far away.

“All of that’s getting ready to start,” she said. “It should be exciting for our community, because it’s certainly a landmark building.”

Washington County Fire Protection Association Chief Jim Logsdon received a grant recently that the city of Springfield is certainly glad about, as it will save more than $50,000 on the upcoming budget. Logsdon’s grant request for 10 air packs, worth a total of $55,450, was accepted two weeks ago. The council had previously discussed the need to potentially purchase air packs.

Springfield-Washington County Economic Development Authority (SWEDA) Executive Director Daniel Carney was appointed to the Main Street/Renaissance Kentucky Committee at the meeting. His appointment is effective immediately and will run for two years, expiring in May 2015.

The city also agreed to move forward with the purchase and installation of new Boxwood trees along Main Street. Haydon indicated that business owners where the trees are currently located have agreed to water any trees that are replaced, and Mama’s Touch Nursery and Landscaping will be replacing the plants. The cost to the city to replace the 17 trees will be $55 per plant.

Absent from the meeting was council member John Hardin. The next city council meeting is scheduled for June 11 at City Hall at 5:30 p.m.