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Heart Of Adair Update Survey Results Prioritized; Dolly Partin Bust Not Include

This article first appeared in issue 4, and was written by Linda Waggener.

The most favored items on the May survey of ideas to improve downtown were taken a step farther at the last meeting. However, those items did not include the controversial suggestion of placing a bust of Dolly Partin on the square. (Sorry Joe Moore.) The mere thought of it had already stirred things up in town, and making her a reality might have been as big a draw to Columbia as speculation says the Lindsey Wilson Chapel will be. Maybe another time.

The tasks selected, and volunteered for, included:

* Tree and wildflower planting on entrances from the new Columbia signs which are being completed now-hats off to John Arnold and Mayor Hardwick for their leadership-into downtown. Vonnie Kolbenschlag, Jane Aaron, and Billy Joe Fudge volunteered to join efforts underway by the Design Team, and work specifically on the entrances to town.

* A Writer's Fair and Tastes of Columbia are two celebrations under study by volunteer members of the Promotions Team, Donna Vaughn, George Kol-benschlag and Ed Waggener. Charles Grimsley is making connections about a possible Starving Artists Sale for downtown Columbia. Judy Phipps volunteered her husband Tim to research an annual Chess Tournament downtown since he is already involved in that arena. Band concerts downtown were a desired item on the survey. Billy Joe Fudge volunteered to check into the ACHS band's summer calendar to see if any group of band members would have time for such.

* Improve the exterior condition and appearance of the Courthouse: raise the bell and light it, install accent lights on the tower's exterior and repair the concrete truck-barrier on the lawn. The Design Team is at work on this project.

* Cleanup roadsides and parking areas in city and county. Lloyd French, Vonnie Kolbenschlag and Amy Waggener are working together toward cleanup and recycling efforts. Heart of Adair members admired the Adair Social Activists group's success, reported by Sister Dorothy McMannon, who gathered volunteers and trucked 18 loads of trash off Parrot Avenue in early May. She said the residents could not have afforded the project on their own - it cost a thousand dollars just to empty the trucks at the dump.

* Review standards of current signage regulations in Columbia, and bring back recommendations for improvements. Dan Antle volunteered to review present standards.

* Decide location and place four additional street lights and eight decorative sign posts. Dr. Arnold is in charge.

* Research cost and time frame to bury all electrical lines downtown. Dan Antle is at work on this project.

* Parking area increase and enhancement. Councilwoman Louise Hutchison said that the city is at work now on improving parking areas and adding lighting. She said the council would welcome any ideas for improving landscaping and educating travelers about our parking options.

It was noted that in the last downtown focus on parking problems (when the fountain took up three spaces) the city managed to find a net gain of 18 additional parking spaces.

* Get cost estimates on materials and labor for painting murals on highly-visible buildings downtown. Margaret Arnold volunteered to head the search. Donna Vaughn will assist.

* Work with present zoning board to study strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations for continued improvements. Judy Phipps, Chair of the Organization Team is at work on this project. Ben Arnold will be support.

* Restore rails and place flower boxes over two town creek locations. Guy Adams volunteered for both.

* Document historical locations and events of Columbia for future promotions. Vonnie Kolbenschlag has been actively involved in this type research as a longtime working member of the Adair Heritage Association and will share her information with Heart of Adair.

* Historic / aerobic walkway connecting downtown and Lindsey Wilson College. Dr. Ben Arnold is at work on this project and welcomes input and assistance.

* Continued improvements in flower beds on the square. Mackie Jo Pennington, member of the Design Team, is the leader of this project and businesses on each side of the square are volunteering work on beds closest to them. Blossoms attribute to the success of all involved. Only the large flower bed on the courthouse lawn has not been adopted. If the spirit moves you, please see Mackie Jo Pennington.

"A Tree City USA," says Billy Joe Fudge, "is what Columbia may want to become in its efforts to improve the looks of entrances to downtown." He presented an informative program based on his experience in the Forestry Service at the last meeting of Heart of Adair, the downtown revitalization group.

Working with the mayor and city council, Columbia can establish a Tree Board and join the Arbor Day Foundation to qualify for help with an "urban forest " project.

In his experiences with Columbia's present urban forest (those trees in the corners of the square), Fudge says he has come to find that everyone wants something different.

"For instance," he told the group, "Earl Huddleston asked me, as I was checking the tree in his corner, to lower the tree a bit so it didn't block out the First National Bank sign. O.K. Then Mike Loy says the tree in his corner is blocking out stores on his walk, so would I raise that tree a bit, or thin it out somewhat, from the bottom up? O.K.

"Then, Nancy Day marches out to meet me as I head to the tree in front of Barber Insurance, and asks why I need to prune anything at all-why can't I just leave her tree alone?""

Nancy finally did let him do a little work on the tree just for health's sake, but he had to justify the removal of every single leaf to her as she stood there and supervised. (That's probably one of the reasons Nancy was voted the Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year - attention to detail, taking personal interest her corner of the square).

After forming the official Tree Board, its job would then be to develop a plan of action for each existing tree, based on its condition, as well as a plan for adding trees.

Tree Board members then would meet with various civic organizations which might want to get involved in the urban forestation of Columbia.

Minimum pay for recruited industry

just depends on one's own perspective

Bill Parson, Director of the Lake Cumberland Area Development District, says he discovers all types of community challenges in his work over the ten county district. He observes that recruiting boards have unique questions like the following one in Clinton County.

"A man stood up at a public meeting in the courthouse and addressed the room full of local citizens concerned over whether to bring in a chicken processing plant or not. He said to the gathering, 'I am against bringing in this chicken factory because the low paying $7-an-hour jobs will do nothing but bring a bunch of migrants to our town.'

"A beet-red-faced man stood up on the opposite side of the courtroom, addressed the speaker, and said, 'How dare you be against a $7-an-hour wage when I've been shoveling cow-sh(manure) for you for the last ten years for minimum wage!'"

That was a funny story until Bill pointed out that Bob Clutterbuck, who takes care of our welfare program, says it takes a gross hourly pay check of $7 an hour to break even with welfare benefits.


The American flags flying around Columbia during the Memorial Day holiday were placed by Terry Harvey, David Martin, Dennis Loy, Terry Moore and Robert Harmon.

"It's something that we do in remembrance of Daddy Bill Walker," says David Martin, President of the Chamber of Commerce. "We helped him put the flags out when he used to take care of it, and we just kept it up."

The volunteers started to put the flags up on Sunday night but because of lightning, waited until Monday morning. By Monday evening, hard rains had drenched them and winds had whipped the wet, heavy flags around until they twisted some of the mounts. Tuesday the sun dried them out so they could be collected and put away until the July 4th holiday. The job obviously is not an easy one. Wherever "Daddy Bill" is now, he's probably smiling at the work of this group of volunteers.

This story was posted on 1996-06-01 12:01:01
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