By Jeff Noble / Staff writer
Next month, the City of Corbin will have a new Director of Parks and Recreation.
And in less than two months, city business owners will get a big break on their business licenses, thanks to a revised ordinance that goes into effect on January 1, 2013.
Both actions topped Tuesday evening’s special session of the Corbin City Commission, which also saw the city proclaim today (Wednesday) as “Corbin Educators Appreciation Day.”
The new ordinance amending the existing business license ordinance got its first reading Tuesday and was unanimously approved. If the second reading’s approved next month and after legal publication, the updated ordinance becomes law on the first day of January.
When it does becomes law, the new ordinance reduces the costs of business licenses in Corbin in half.
One section reduces the license tax or fee for restaurants, lunch rooms and dining rooms, including carry-out and delivery, while another amended section also reduces fees and taxes for businesses selling groceries, fruits and vegetables.
In addition, a section of the ordinance deals with retail merchants and wholesale merchants, while the updated ordinance adds certain businesses, trades, professions and occupations to be subject to the license taxes or fees. Among those listed in that section include consultants, management firms, bingo parlors, operating a gas and/or oil drilling company, and installing window blinds or garage doors.
Two city commissioners said the action was a long-time coming and long overdue.
“What we just did was reduce the business licenses by 50 percent. We’ve got the alcohol tax to make up the difference now. We want to make Corbin more friendly to businesses wanting to start up here and coming here,” said Commissioner Joe “Butch” White.
After the meeting, Commissioner Phil Gregory added, “The mayor and I have talked about this for quite some time, and we promised the merchants that we would help them. All of our funds are in the budget, and now it’s time to help both new merchants, and long-time business in the city.”
Beginning Dec. 21, Wesley “Wes” Lanham will be Corbin’s new Parks and Recreation Director, at a salary of $37,000 a year.
The Corbin native was recommended by the city’s personnel board for the position, after the job had been advertised during the late summer and fall. Lanham succeeds Marlon Sams, who held the position for 14 years, until he stepped down to devote his full time as Corbin’s City Manager.
“I am very excited about having the opportunity to be the new Parks and Recreation Director, and I’m very eager to get started,” Lanhan said in a phone interview Tuesday evening.
A 2004 graduate of Corbin High School, Lanham attended Eastern Kentucky University, majoring in Recreation and Park Administration. In 2009, he graduated from EKU with a bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Park Administration, with an emphasis on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation.
While studying at EKU, Lanham did an internship with the Richmond Parks and Recreation Department, and later worked there for about a year. He also worked as Supervisor of the 21st Century Afterschool Program for the Corbin Independent Schools district, from the summer of 2010 through the fall of 2011. Lanham currently works as the Family Resource and Youth Services Center, or FRYSC, Coordinator for the Lynn Camp Schools, and will continue until he begins his new job in Corbin next month.
Both Wes and his wife Jessica currently live in London.
Other actions taken at the meeting included the approval of Bill Storm to the Corbin Economic Development Board, and Jane Chandler to the Corbin Public Library Board. Also approval was the cost of living adjustment for the city’s full-time and permanent part-time employees, while a $307,751.57 Certificate of Deposit at Commercial Bank was earmarked for the city’s Police and Firemen Pension Fund. Approval was given for the lease-purchase agreement with TCF Equipment Finance, Inc. for purchasing a new garbage packer for the city, with Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney authorized to sign the lease. And a municipal insurance tax refund to RPS of Lexington for $130.68 was also approved, with the refund for an overpayment on the insurance premium tax.
Ordinances came into play twice again at the session. The commission approved the first reading of an ordinance to establish a no-parking zone on the west side of Main Street, starting at the intersection of Main and 21st Street.
“The City Manager’s been getting some complaints about some near-misses and some hits at that junction,” McBurney told the audience.
And approval was given to authorize City Attorney Bob Hammons to draw up an ordinance placing a stop sign at the intersection of Covey Trail and Setters Point, off Cloverbrook Street.
Mike Ashurst of Air Evac Lifeteam spoke with the commission, asking the city to offer lifetime memberships with the medical helicopter organization to all city workers. Ashurst cited the cost would be on the average, 55 dollars a person, which would come to a total of about $5,500 for about 100 Corbin city employees. He was told the city would take the matter under advisement, and for Air Evac to return in January.
Earlier, the Corbin Independent Schools were honored by the city for their recent success in achieving Kentucky’s Highest District K-PREP Test Score Award with a 97th percentile score. The district-wide score earned the Corbin Schools as a “District of Distinction.” Also honored was Kentucky’s “2013 Teacher of the Year” and “2013 Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year,” Kristal Doolin of Corbin Middle School; along with a husband-and-wife teacher team at the Middle School, Brett and Jenni Lou Jackson. In 2012, Jenni Lou was the “Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year,”while that same year, Brett was the “Kentucky Middle School Social Studies Teacher of the Year.”
As a result, today was made “Corbin Educators Appreciation Day,” after City Clerk Erin Tye read a proclamation from McBurney and the City Commission, thanking teachers, staff and administrators in the district for their high accomplishments.