Thomas gives GC Chamber of Commerce members update on Town Square beautification project

Grayson County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director April Spalding and Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President Misty Thomas have presented a proposal to beautify the Leitchfield Town Square to the Leitchfield City Council and Grayson County Fiscal Court.

The proposal includes installing 16 solar-powered street lamps (with LED lights, flower pots and banners for each) and 22 wall sconces around the square. Thomas and Spalding said they are consulting with business/building owners around the square as they seek approval for the improvement.

The banners will feature pictures of well-known Grayson County residents or former residents such as musician Jimmy Mattingly, internationally renowned artist Larry Elmore and horse racing legend John Asher.

The cost of the project, approximately $13,000, will likely be split between county government, the city of Leitchfield and Leitchfield Tourism. The Leitchfield City Council and GC Fiscal Court approved the improvements pending approval by Leitchfield Tourism officials agreeing to split the city’s $6,550 financial obligation for the project (tourism will take up the matter at its next meeting on Tuesday).

Thomas provided the following update on the project to chamber members on the organization’s Facebook page:

The Grayson County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that funding was approved for the Leitchfield Public Square project being overseen by our board of directors and April Spalding, Executive Director.

April and I requested funding from the Leitchfield City Council and Grayson County Fiscal Court this week to fund the lamp post, wall sconces, and planter boxes that will be placed on the square. The total price for these items totaled $13,000, and both government agencies agreed to split the costs.

This lighting/banner project stems from the chamber’s board of directors hiring a firm to oversee a series of strategic planning sessions with the community last year to help create a 20/20 Vision Plan. The strategic meetings were held in the early months of 2018, and brought to light several ideas and projects the community suggested. 

The lamp posts (16) and wall sconces (22) – which are solar – will be installed by City of Leitchfield employees with a hopeful completion date before the Twin Lakes National Fiddler’s Contest, which is the third weekend in July.

I believe this project will help enhance the beauty and nostalgia of the historic public square, and is the start of hopefully many projects the chamber hopes to manage over the coming months and years to continue to enhance our community. 

The commercial grade solar lamps could not be purchased locally; however, the plants and banners will be and were not a part of the funding requests made to the government agencies. These items will be funded either privately or by the chamber, and offer a variety of opportunities to promote Grayson County’s heritage, history, industrial base, military honors, or any such tribute that the community would like to display. 

The first set of banners will pay tribute to some of those who are Grayson County natives but have made a national acclaim for themselves in their area of specialty: Larry Elmore, Dungeons & Dragons Artist; John Asher, Churchill Downs VP of Communications; Jimmy Mattingly, Fiddle Player for Garth Brooks; George Lindsey, ACM Award Winning Broadcaster; Sarah Vickery, Lead Scientist for Covergirl/Estee Lauder, etc. 

I want to personally thank April Spalding for working diligently on this project, as she is the one who really puts forth the most time and effort; she’s been great.

We are encouraged and delighted to see the community ideas becoming a reality, and we look forward to many more improvements we, as a board of directors, are able to help accomplish in any way. 

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”  – Joel A. Barker