Above, some images of a current alleyway in downtown Corbin and a concept design of what it could look like with improvements to the area.
The Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission is considering a request for $55,000 to match money budgeted by the city of Corbin to help broaden a "master plan" for improvements to Main Street and beyond.
During the commission’s regular monthly meeting Monday, Corbin Main Street Manager Andy Salmons provided members of the board provocative, albeit speculative, illustrations of physical improvements that could be made to the town’s core business district, as well as to the main thoroughfares leading into the city.
Bike lanes along Cumberland Falls Hwy.
Little used alleys and side streets turned into boutique shops and cafés.
Tasteful landscaping and green space in place of concrete and blight.
Miles of walking and biking trails.
"There’s no guarantees," Salmons noted as he presented the ideas to the commission. "It’s just some ideas to throw out there to improve our community."
The city has budgeted $55,000 this fiscal year for the crafting of a streetscape plan for Main Street. The plan is typically used in order to secure lucrative grants aimed at implementation of the proposed changes. Corbin joined the Renaissance on Main program in 2008 in hopes of reinvigorating its downtown area, but since that time no plan has been produced.
Salmons signaled clearly he means to change that, and asked Tourism board members to match the city’s stake with an additional $55,000 in order to make a plan that would extend out past the town’s core area down Cumberland Falls Hwy. and Master Street.
Salmons said they city plans to solicit bids in the near future for architectural and engineering firms to create the plan for the city. He said implementation would then be a "multi-year, multi-phase" project that could last a decade or more.
"I just feel like this is a logical extension of what we are doing," Salmons told the board, in an effort to convince them to pledge the funds.
"I think we need to do these things to bring our community into the future."
Salmons and Corbin City Manager Marlon Sams said they both envision turning Corbin into a more outdoor, recreation-friendly community with plenty of trails and areas for biking and walking or running. Both said they hoped Corbin would be recognized as a designated "Trail Town" by the state – part of a new program aimed to encourage Kentucky communities to build more trails suited to outdoor exercise.
Currently, the city has a plan in the works to create a one-mile path for such use along Bacon Creek. Sams said it could easily be extended in the future.
The commission took the funding request under advisement.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved $3,500 for fall decorations downtown, and $2,500 to help fund Octoberfest.
• Heard a financial report from board accountant Kyle Perkins.
Perkins said the commission was currently being audited for the past fiscal year, and that the results of the audit should be available by next month’s meeting.
For the first quarter of the most current fiscal year, receipts from the city’s restaurant tax were more than expected at $266,497.
Perkins also noted that three motels were currently delinquent on payments of the town’s transient tax. Landmark Inn has not paid since the second quarter of 2011. Mountain View Lodge has not paid since the fourth quarter of 2011. Best Western hasn’t paid for the first quarter of 2012.
Commission member Alan Onkst made a motion to inform the city’s Board of Commissioners of the delinquencies and to ask that legal action be taken against Landmark Inn and Mountain View Lodge. The measure passed unanimously.
• Agreed to takeover maintenance of Sanders Park.
• Agreed to maintain decorative planters at the Corbin Public Library.