Funding for Alhambra, sheriff's facility approved

Tonya S. Grace/Kentucky New Era

A POW/MIA flag is displayed near Christian County Attorney John Soyars (left) and Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble in the fiscal court courtroom at the Christian County Courthouse downtown. The flag a new addition to Christian Fiscal Court after Hopkinsville resident Wayne Parthun donated it during a court meeting on Tuesday.

Christian Fiscal Court has approved the final payments for two ongoing construction projects, effectively signaling the end to renovations for the Alhambra Theatre downtown as well as the completion of construction on the new Christian County Sheriff's Office facility on Seventh Street.

Magistrates approved an $8,416 change order for the Alhambra, with more than $5,000 of that cost related to the elevator in the theater; the Otis elevator experienced problems following a test that showed it was in working order.

Thomas Waldron, architect for the project, told magistrates he signed off on the job as completed and then the elevator stopped working.

Waldron said the change order related to the elevator and other items completes all the projects and changes for the Alhambra renovations.

The court also approved two separate payments, one for $11,026 and the other for $76,937, wrapping up the renovation project on the theater.

The last payment on the sheriff's facility was for $146,267, and Christian County Treasurer Walter Cummings said the payment "closes the project down."

Additionally, the court adopted a resolution committing to providing $1 million in funding for a project that will make improvements to Kentucky 115 in Christian County, including an industrial connector and a new intersection with U.S. 41.

The project, if approved, is being made possible through a grant opportunity announced recently by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Federal officials noted that $900 million is available nationwide in discretionary funding through Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, a transportation grant program from which the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Christian County will make a $25 million grant request for the local project.

If the grant is approved, the county will provide $1 million toward the project, while the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will provide $10 million, according to Kevin McClearn of American Engineers Inc., who spoke during the court meeting.

The cabinet is partnering with Christian County as an applicant for the project.

McClearn said the application is due in July and will be submitted electronically in the next few weeks. Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble expressed his support for adopting the related resolution during Tuesday's court meeting.

"I think it's a very good use of the funds," Christian County Magistrate Jerry Gilliam said of a project that will expand economic opportunities for Commerce Park, the industrial site off U.S. 41 in the southern end of the county.

The judge-executive also announced Tuesday that the county budget will be approved on second reading during the court's next meeting June 25.

Tribble said the budget has just been received back from the Department for Local Government and was approved for its form and content. It will now be published in the newspaper before that second reading later this month.

Christian County Magistrate Darrell Gustafson was not at Tuesday's meeting, although Tribble said the magistrate, who was part of a delegation visiting France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-day, was on his way back home.

In other business

• Christian County Jailer Brad Boyd has been named Jailer of the Year for Kentucky, his second time following a similar recognition in 2016 by his fellow jailers during a Kentucky Jailers' Association conference.

• Christian County Magistrate Phillip Peterson said the public is invited to a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Fairview Volunteer Fire Department to express opinions on a possible merger of the Fairview and Pembroke fire departments.

• Hopkinsville resident Wayne Parthun presented the court with a POW/MIA flag, now on display in the courtroom upstairs at the Christian County Courthouse.

• Fiscal court magistrates approved the reappointments of Chip Miles and David Saldana to the Hopkinsville-Christian County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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