GLASGOW – The idea of developing a multipurpose public space on a two-block site purchased by the city last fall moved another step forward Monday night as the Glasgow Common Council approved 11-1 a resolution to create a committee to “investigate” uses and solicit private funding for it.
Councilman Terry Bunnell cast the sole vote in opposition. That came after an amendment he proposed to the composition of the committee failed, as he cast the only vote in favor of the amendment.
The property is between West Main and West Front streets and currently includes a parking area for personnel of the Department of Public Works, the facilities for which are diagonally across Front Street from the property. The resolution specifies the parking area is to continue being used for such.
Wes Simpson, a local resident, has led the charge to get a project moving on the site and has rallied interest in a public-private partnership to get that accomplished, and he had previously pitched the idea to the council Parks and Recreation Committee and the full council.
The proposed resolution calls for him to chair the committee and appoint two additional members and for the mayor to appoint three members. It also specifies that “the committee does not have the power to bind the City of Glasgow until its proposals are voted on and adopted by the Glasgow City Council.”
The amendment Bunnell wanted would have created a seven-member panel that would include Simpson; one representative of Sustainable Glasgow, which operates the Bounty of the Barrens farmers market and for whom a pavilion that could be used year-round by the market has been proposed as part of the development; one representative of the Glasgow Downtown Business Association; two appointments from the mayor and two members form the council Parks and Recreation Committee, and he recommended they be Councilwoman Chasity Lowery, who chairs the committee, and Councilman Brad Groce. The mayor and the director of the Parks and Recreation Department would have served as nonvoting members. Ideas for the property also include an amphitheater and Simpson has tentative renderings he provided to illustrate there is enough room for that, the pavilion and a splash pad.
Lowery said she felt Simpson should have at least one person of his choosing to be on the committee.
“I know he is the brain power behind this, and he has spent an enormous amount of time working with people to get these plans together, and I think it's important for him to have a little input of who's going to work alongside him,” she said.
Councilman Freddie Norris said that with Bunnell's suggestion, it still would allow others to come and be a part of the conversation.
City Attorney Danny Basil said the impetus for the project was coming from the private sector, so the intent in its being written as it was was to give that aspect equal weight.
Councilman Patrick Gaunce said he agreed with it as written.
“A lot of people are behind this because of Wes, and if he's going to have fundraising, they're going to want to know [he's involved],” he said.
Lowery said the suggestions for representation from Sustainable Glasgow, the business association and the committee were good, but she would “hate to see Mr. Simpson lose choice, when he has devoted so much to this cause.”
The other resolution, which was approved unanimously and without discussion, outlined the composition of the city's representation on the Barren County Economic Development Authority as two citizens and one council member. This move follows the adoption by Barren County Fiscal Court and the legislative bodies of each of the incorporated cities within the county of an amended interlocal agreement continuing the existence of the authority. Elected officials were not allowed to be voting members of the authority under the former version of the agreement, but the new one allows the appointees to be either elected officials or members of the public at large.
No specific individuals were named as potential appointees. The agreement is subject to approval from the Department of Local Government.
In other business:
• First reading of an ordinance authorizing the creation of a standing committee to be known as the Entertain Glasgow Committee and then later a municipal order establishing the members of that committee as the superintendent of the Department of Public Works, the director of the Parks and Recreation Department, the chiefs of the police and fire departments, mayor or designee from city hall, director of Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management, and six members appointed by the mayor with council approval, initially Katie Hawks, Whitney Honeycutt, Brandon Judd, Matthew Compton, Jennifer Pedigo and Jared Pursley, all of whom had been involved with Entertain Glasgow previously, both unanimously. A first reading of a different version of the ordinance had been approved previously, and a second reading had been scheduled for Monday, but because the changes were significant, a new first reading was done.
• First readings of ordinances adopting a supplement to the Code of Ordinances and authorizing Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Service Organization Inc. access to Happy Valley Road by use of the driveway to American Legion Park.
• First reading of an amended interlocal agreement renewing the soccer cooperative, unanimously; and
• Three municipal orders reappointing Sam Chambers and Terry Fisher to the board of directors for the Glasgow Municipal Airport for four-year terms and reappointing Rondal Buford to the Code Enforcement Board for a three-year term, all unanimously.