Why is Downtown Richmond important to the future of the community?
We asked a few city and county officials as well as business leaders and found them all to be excited about Richmond’s city center for a variety of reasons.
Tonita Goodwin, who directs Richmond’s industrial development efforts answered, “When I have industrial prospects come to visit, they always want to see downtown. They see it as the heartbeat of a community.”
She said Richmond has a great chance to showcase itself when the Kentucky Association of Economic Development meets here in April.
“We have so much to build on,” Mendi Goble, Richmond Chamber of Commerce executive director. “Good things are happening here.”
Rose Rex, the city’s Main Street coordinator, credited the Downtown Richmond Association board of directors with coming up with creative ways to boost downtown businesses.
“They are fully supportive of events that bring more people Downtown and more people are coming to dine, to shop and to enjoy,” Rex said of the board members.
Rex invites anyone interested in becoming involved in downtown Richmond to attend the association’s general meeting Sept. 18, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., at the City Hall.
Andrew Jones, a local businessman who chairs the chamber of commerce’s Urban Renewal and Development Committee, said he would like to see people of all ages be able to live, work and play in a walkable area such as downtown Richmond.
This is the committee’s vision, he said. “We want to revitalize Downtown, create more jobs, increase revenues and bring an overall sense of well being to our community.”
The committee meets at the chamber office on Main Street every two weeks and all interested people are invited. The panel is drafting a strategic plan for further development in the eight block downtown area as well as working to forge public/private partnerships.
In addition to Jones, the committee includes Colleen Spencer, Joe Kersey, Tonita Goodwin, Stuart Spencer, Jeremy Jackson, Mendi Goble and Monica Kidwell.
Joyce Green, president of the Business Babes Society of Madison County, said the “Business Babes are women business owners who are proud to be participating and supporting the new vision for downtown Richmond. With the development that is taking place and the people who are committed to the task, this is sure to bring opportunity to the entire area.”
Madison County Judge/Executive Kent Clark said he has high hopes for a proposed annex to the Madison County Detention Center behind the courthouse on Irvine Street. Several state and local offices are located on Irvine Street, including the city’s main fire station and the U.S. Post Office and the courthouse annex.
Clark said the county must address overcrowding at the jail, which routinely houses 80 to 100 people more than its capacity.
Clark’s proposal is to build a 100-bed facility with a new kitchen on county-owned property next to the present detention center where the historic Miller House once stood. The new addition would be connected to the first and second floors of the present jail. A new kitchen is needed because the 25-year-old kitchen is inadequate and out-dated.
If built, the detention center annex would replicate the facade of the Miller House, a Federal-style brick building constructed about 1818. The present detention center’s facade also would be renovated to resemble the Miller House.
“By keeping our state prisoners here instead of paying to house them elsewhere, we could save enough money to pay the debt service on the new addition,” Clark said. The proposed addition could be a 20-year solution to the overcrowding as well as meeting the requirements of Kentucky Regulatory Statutes, he said.
Business on Irvine Street
Irvine Street and its neighborhood isn’t just offices and government buildings. Among businesses on the street is Hensley Custom Auto Trim, started in 1946 at another location when Troy Hensley’s dad was 19. In 1976, Troy bought the business from his dad and has been in business at the corner Irvine and Church street for 20 years.
A new business will open Tuesday just a stone’s throw from Hensley’s business. Paul Morin has lived in Kentucky for 18 years, but he’s still fond of the genuine Texas barbecue he grew up eating. And he want’s to share it with his Kentucky neighbors.
His Straight from Texas Bar-B-Que will be serving Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays next to his wife’s hair salon at the intersection of Third and North streets.
Why is Downtown Richmond important to the future of the community?
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YMCA, county district to provide after-school care
The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.
Memories bloom in May’s garden
After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.
Water Street storm-water digging begins
Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.
RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home
Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.
Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea
Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.
A race to the finish line
Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.
Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society
Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.
Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky
Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.
Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’
Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.
At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.
That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.
Fire training tower going up
A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.
Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.
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