Why does road department need a crossbow?

When Daviess Fiscal Court paid the bills last week, there was a $154.71 item for the road department marked “crossbow.”

So why does the road department need a crossbow?

Planning to shoot some groundhogs?

No, it seems Crossbow is a brand of herbicide weed and brush killer.

Bummer.

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Weight loss tip

Want to lose weight?

Run for office.

It works, County Commissioner Mike Riney said at Thursday’s Fiscal Court meeting.

“The last time I had serious opposition in a race, I lost 25 pounds” from campaigning, Riney said.

He wasn’t campaigning this year, though. Riney decided to retire at the end of this term on Dec. 31.

Paducah downtown wins national honor

Owensboro is spending $120 million on its downtown to bring it back to life. But Paducah is already reaping national honors for its Main Street program.

Here’s a news release from the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2010) — Yesterday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that Paducah Renaissance Alliance in Paducah, Ky., is a winner of the 2010 Great American Main Street Awards® (GAMSA).

Distinguishing itself by focusing on incentives and the arts as a revitalization strategy, Paducah Renaissance Alliance was honored at the Main Street Awards Ceremony during the National Main Streets Conference in Oklahoma City, Okla. The National Trust Main Street Center’s annual GAMSA winners are recognized for their exceptional accomplishments in revitalizing the nation’s historic and traditional Main Street commercial districts by using the proven Main Street Four-Point Approach®.

To celebrate the achievement, a public reception will take place at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) Friday, May 7 at Paducah’s downtown gazebo, located at the corner of 2nd and Broadway streets.

Paducah Main Street’s Artist Relocation Program has proven to be a hugely successful revitalization strategy – one that has been emulated by many other cities. By offering artists from across the U.S. attractive financial incentives to rehabilitate historic homes and buildings for living and working space, the city now has a critical mass of creative residents and related galleries, arts-related businesses, and an arts school.

Dramatically improving quality of life and the local economy, Paducah Renaissance Alliance’s efforts have yielded a net gain of 234 new businesses and 1,000 new jobs.

“Paducah boasts nearly $200 million in yearly tourism income from its strong arts and cultural district. That’s an impressive figure for a city of 26,000 people,” said Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. “Paducah Renaissance Alliance has reversed years of negative public perceptions by creating a ‘historically hip’ downtown filled with beautiful buildings and exciting attractions. Paducah raises the bar for maintaining an authentic community while becoming a major tourist destination.”

Paducah is one of more than 80 Kentucky communities working in partnership with the Kentucky Main Street Program, the oldest statewide Main Street revitalization program in the nation, administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office.

Since the program was established in 1979, more than $3.5 billion in public-private funding has been reinvested back into the state’s economy.

In 2009 alone, Kentucky Main Street and Renaissance on Main programs reported more than $350 million invested in downtowns through these programs, representing:  1,971 net jobs in Main Street districts;  377 new businesses created; and  417 downtown buildings rehabilitated.

According to Chris Black, “As chairman of the Kentucky Heritage Council and a resident of Paducah, I am proud and thrilled that my hometown has been recognized for its efforts in becoming a center for cultural arts through preservation and redevelopment of Paducah’s Downtown and LowerTown neighborhoods. This prestigious award represents decades of work and commitment by many thousands of volunteers and our entire community, and recognizes the leadership of the Kentucky Main Street Program.”

“Paducah has been working with the Kentucky Main Street Program for more than 20 years and has done some really creative work, particularly with the Artist Relocation Program and streetscape project, which have brought excitement back to their downtown and riverfront areas and make it a very vibrant city,” said Mark Dennen, Kentucky Heritage Council executive director and state historic preservation officer.

State building no cause for concern, employees told

 

   Employees of the downtown Owensboro state office building were hit with the headline “Hotel site contaminated” streamed across the top of the front page of Wednesday’s Messenger-Inquirer. The story about serious soil contamination at the site wasn’t lost on Frankfort. Before the day was over, employees of the building received the following message from state officials:
 
“You may have read in this morning’s Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer about environmental concerns from the City of Owensboro regarding use of the site on which your office building is located. I want to assure each of you that there is no reason for concern on your part. The concerns raised in the story have no impact on the quality of the air inside your office building, as they relate directly to the potential implications of demolishing the building and developing the property for other uses.

To ensure the safety of our employees, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) recently conducted indoor air quality samples at your worksite. On March 10, 2010, DEP collected 8-hour time weighted samples from nine locations inside the building. This was done after working hours so that they could isolate the air flow in the building, allowing for any possible accumulation of vapor to be present. The samples were analyzed by an independent third party analytical laboratory for an exhaustive list of volatile organic compounds, including chlorinated solvents.   The results of the tests were negative. They did not detect any chlorinated solvents in air inside the building and no volatile organic compounds were detected in air at levels that pose a threat to human health.

As the result of a leak from a nearby dry cleaning business many years ago, the city and state have closely monitored the quality of the soil beneath the state office building for nearly a decade and have never had any reason for alarm. The current presence of any chemicals that may have leached beneath the site of the building will not pose any threat to health or safety. The soil’s environmental condition does not preclude the future reuse and redevelopment of this property with proper mitigation of the soil.

The air quality in and around your building poses no threat to your health.  Please be assured there is also no risk associated with enjoying your lunch or breaks in the area outside of the State Office Building.”
 
According to Cindy Lanham, director of communications for the Finance and Administration Cabinet, the message was signed by various state department directors who have workers in the Owensboro facility.

Friday, the Owensboro City Commission will hold a special called meeting to vote on repealing the ordinance that was approved earlier this month purchasing the state building. According to a source, the city now wants nothing to do with the building because of the contamination problems.

Convention center committee off and running

The steering committee charged with the responsibility of planning a downtown Owensboro convention/events center is off and running, having held it first meeting Wednesday at the Daviess County Courthouse.

After electing Daviess County Judge-Executive Reid Haire chairman of the seven-member committee on Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne’s motion, the first item of business was selecting CityVisions Associates, a Louisville urban planning and design company, to assist the committee.

CityVisions’ consulting fee will be approximately $200,000, with the final amount determined by how many months the company spends on some of the tasks in the contract. The first order of business for CityVisions is to conduct a feasibility study for the convention center.

Look for the full story in Thursday’s Messenger-Inquirer.

Commission meeting moved to Dugan Best

The Owensboro City Commission meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Dugan Best Recreation Center. Mayor Ron Payne said last week he wanted to hold some meetings in the community and Dugan Best would be a good place to meet because the city is about to embark on a big redevelopment project in the Dugan Best neighborhood.
Before the meeting, members of the City Commission will take part in a bus tour of the west side community.
On the agenda for the meeting is a report on riverfront and Smothers Park by design team EDSA.
EDSA and Gateway Planning are also working on plans for what is now called Riverfront Crossing, formerly known as Market Square Plaza, the block north of the Daviess County Courthouse. EDSA and Gateway have created elevation drawings for the project and EDSA will provide a detailed presentation at Tuesday’s meeting.
The big item on Tuesday’s agenda is the consideration for approval of an interlocal agreement between Daviess Fiscal Court, the City Commission and the Industrial Development Authority establishing a steering committee to oversee the design and construction of a downtown convention and events center.

Fiscal Court taking questions on live TV show Tuesday

Members of Daviess Fiscal Court will be taking questions and comments from the public on a live TV show at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 9.

The “Speak Up” program will be broadcast on Owensboro Community & Technical College’s OCTV 71 — Channel 71 on Time Warner Cable in Owensboro.

The 30-minute show will be moderated by Kirk Kirkpatrick.

To ask questions or make comments, call 686-4615. E-mail and phone questions are also accepted prior to the show. Send e-mails to john.bryenton@kctcs.edu. or call 686-4615 after 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9.