Contractor's work on the Pennyroyal Area Museum is halfway done, Executive Director Alissa Keller of the Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County told magistrates during Tuesday morning's meeting of the Christian Fiscal Court at the Christian County Courthouse downtown.
Keller said the museum's 15,000 artifacts are slated to be moved back into the building in November, with exhibits to be set up in December and the museum to re-open to the public in early 2020.
The facility closed early last year to allow upgrades to the building, and museum operations moved across the street to the Woody Winfree Fire-Transportation Museum on Ninth Street.
The museum continues to host events and has had several children's programs this summer.
Keller said the upgrade to date is a $1.6 million effort, with $131,000 in change orders approved.
Of those orders, $86,000 will go toward the museum roof, a concrete structure with a layer of copper over it. Keller said the copper is not salvageable and will need to be replaced with a different metal.
However, she told magistrates that officials may try to utilize the copper to help raise funds for the museum, possibly making earrings or other jewelry from the metal to sell to the public.
The director also noted that the county has thus far provided $663,000 for the renovations, while the museum has raised $192,650 with its capital campaign, essentially 60% of its
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Among the improvements to date are completion of the hazardous materials abatement, the asbestos abatement and the electrical work; the 105-year-old museum now has all new wiring, Keller said.
She noted that plumbing has been roughed in for its new bathrooms, and tile will be laid soon.
Additionally, the exterior of the building has been cleaned, and the sprinkler system is in. The installation of a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system has begun, Keller added.
The director said the ongoing work has revealed a leak in the basement coming from the ground through the brick wall, an issue that will be resolved with a French drain to direct the water elsewhere.
But Keller said some fun things have also come to light, like the green wallpaper discovered in an upstairs office, prompting the director to choose that office as her own to show off the wallpaper.
She added that officials are also working to brighten the look of the museum, utilizing LED lights and lighter paint colors to address comments from people about the museum's dark exhibits.
"We're super-excited," the director said as she highlighted the ongoing renovations to the facility.
Hopkinsville resident Robert Hilgartner also spoke to magistrates during Tuesday's meeting, focusing on an issue with the road in his Pleasantview Acres neighborhood off Fort Campbell Boulevard.
Hilgartner said the Pleasantview Acres Road is in bad shape, but he said the only way to repair the road, which has been designated a private road, is for its 17 residents to do the repairs themselves.
Hilgartner asked the fiscal court to change the designation from private to public, to help with potholes on the road and place it on the state's six-year highway plan to refurbish the entire road.
He said the road's 17 residents pay county taxes and want to remain in the county.
Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble noted that Hilgartner's road is not the only road in similar circumstances in the county, and he said officials have tried to address the matter in the past.
"We tried and tried and tried to come up with something, and we still are," Tribble said of the issues with such roads. "You wouldn't believe some of the things we've done to try to get this rectified."
The judge-executive noted that the county can accept any road it wants to, although he said a policy during the previous administration called for the county not to accept any new roads unless they were up to subdivision standards. Tribble said he thinks the county will have to do something with that policy.
"We will certainly look into it," the judge-executive said of Hilgartner's request.
The Pleasantview Acres Road is two-tenths of a mile long and is off Fort Campbell Boulevard near Pennyrile Ford, the James E. Bruce Convention Center and the Murray State University campus.
The court approved on second reading the amended ordinance that will allow by-the-drink sales of liquor on Sundays at the community's Casey Jones and MB Roland distilleries, with the judge-executive noting that the ordinance now has to be published in the newspaper before it becomes law.
Like its first reading, the measure passed on a 5-3 vote, with Christian County Magistrates Darrell Gustafson, Mark Wells, Maggie Ferguson, Jerry Gilliam and Phillip Peterson voting in favor of it.
Gustafson made the initial motion to approve the amended ordinance, with Wells seconding it.
Magistrates Mark Cansler, Rich Liebe and Terry Bowman voted against the measure.
The measure allows by the drink sales from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays at the two distilleries.
The original ordinance passed two years ago authorized the sale of souvenir packages and allowed sampling at any licensed Kentucky distillery on Sundays in the county. Both that measure and the recent amended by-the-drink ordinance exclude Easter Sundays and Christmas if it falls on a Sunday.
In other business:
• Magistrates approved service contracts with Trigg and Todd counties for housing animals from those counties at the Christian County Animal Shelter. Contracts reflected a $1,000 increase in the annual payment each county makes to Christian County, with that payment now set at $8,500.
• The court approved training incentives for Christian County Magistrates Phillip Peterson and Maggie Ferguson. Both magistrates abstained from the vote approving their incentives.
• Christian County Animal Shelter Director Irene Grace announced that the shelter found homes for more cats than dogs in June, a first in the facility's history. The shelter report noted that 69 dogs and 121 puppies were adopted last month, while 112 cats and 84 kittens found new homes.
• Grace said the shelter's annual "Spay-ghetti Dinner" fundraiser is Sept. 14, with the dinner itself from 4 to 6 p.m. and the live auction beginning at 6 p.m. at the James E. Bruce Convention Center. Tickets will cost $8 in advance and $10 at the door on the night of the event.
Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.