Approximately one month after Aaron Sturgill was informed that the Corbin Downtown Department was being eliminated, the Corbin City Commission made it official unanimously approving a motion to do so at its regular monthly meeting Monday night.
Questions about the process had arose, leading Sturgill to take to social media to encourage those, who oppose the decision, to contact Mayor Suzie Razmus and the city commissioners prior to Monday’s meeting to ask them to reconsider
“The decision that is pending in regards to the abolishment of the position of Downtown Manager does not reflect well on us during this time,” Sturgill wrote on his Facebook page. “We need to let our elected officials know how we feel.”
When the matter was reached on the agenda, Razmus asked if there was anyone that would like to speak.
Sturgill, who was in attendance, declined to speak.
“I know the decision has already been made,” Sturgill said.
The city has reached an agreement with the Corbin Tourism Commission for Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel to assume responsibility for what the Downtown Department previously did.
The tourism commission approved the request during its regular meeting on July 14.
Kriebel said before accepting, she spoke with city officials to gain an understanding of what they were asking her to do.
She will be responsible for the area between 18th Street to Master Street, including Kentucky and Depot Street.
“Tourism and downtown blend in a lot of areas,” Kriebel said
In addition to overseeing the Corbin Downtown Facebook page, which has been used to promote businesses and events downtown, Kriebel said she will be working to build a relationship with the downtown merchants.
“I will be the liason between the merchants and the city,” Kriebel said noting she will be working on marketing and advertising and business retention downtown.
In return, Kriebel said the city will give tourism $25,000.
“What downtown needs is more retail and entertainment options,” Kriebel said noting that it has a well-established restaurant base, but needs all three in order to thrive.
In an effort to improve the entertainment options, Kriebel said she will be reworking some downtown events, while eliminating others.
Moonbow Nights will be one of the events that will get a rework.
Kriebel said instead of booking local and regional musical acts, people will be invited to bring their musical instruments to participate in a community jam session.
One event that will likely be eliminated is the annual Octoberfest.
Kriebel said she would like to replace it with a Taste of… event where local restaurants, food trucks and vendors are able to offer the public the opportunity to sample their food.
The annual Big Green Egg Festival has already joined NIBROC on the list of local events that have been cancelled in 2020 because of COVID–19.
In addition, Kriebel said it is unlikely the community yard sales will return in 2020, as having people touching items may create a liability issue for the city.
“We will be moving forward with the half marathon,” Kriebel said referring to the Colonel Sanders Half Marathon scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 14.
Kriebel said the first of the planned wayfinding signage directing visitors from Exit 25 and Exit 29, and from U.S 25E, to downtown will be installed in the coming weeks.
“I will be meeting with (Kentucky) Transportation Cabinet officials next week to mark their location next week,” Kriebel said noting it is part of the master plan and downtown signage is the next phase.
The new “Welcome to Corbin” mural, which was created by Hinkle Printing and features various Corbin attractions inside the letters, has been installed on the Pennington Wellness building at the corner of Seventh and Main Street.
Kriebel said the mural was made possible by a donation from Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester.