Carroll County Chamber

Chamber members hear report
on 2005, goals for 2006

By Don Ward

CARROLLTON, Ky. (February 2006) – The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce entered 2006 with a new president in Lonnie Sundermeyer and several new faces on its board of directors.

Shorty Tomlinson

Shorty Tomlinson

Sundermeyer replaced outgoing president Stephen Jones, general manager of Gen. Butler State Resort Park. She presented the other new board members at the chamber’s monthly meeting, held Jan. 9 at Butler Park’s Two Rivers Restaurant.
The 2006 board includes Rita Carter, vice president; Cindy Dunn, treasurer, Rhonda Crutcher, secretary, Roy Weeks, Chas Robbins, Rhonda Welch, John Schuring, Jim Fothergill, Jim Ebert, Greg Goff, Chet Mitchell and Jones.
At the January meeting, chamber members heard from several speakers including Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism and Convention Commission director Sarah Oak, City of Carrollton Clerk-Treasurer Becky Pyles, Ghent Mayor Bob Sundermeyer and Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson.
Tourism: Oak reported that innkeepers tax at the county’s hotels was up 20 percent last year, and she expects a strong 2006. She announced that a second Agri-Tourism Conference will be held March 20 to help local land owners develop ideas for converting their farms into tourist attractions. The conference will feature a state official discussing such topics as insurance, marketing, operating costs and how to launch a business venture. The county extension office has been working for some time in this endeavor. A similar conference was held last year and led by Debbie Spencer, a West Kentucky Corp. tourism development specialist.
Oak also said that ESPN was coming to Carrollton on June 25 to film one of the stops in the season-long Bass Masters Fishing Tourn-ament. The event is expected to draw 400 anglers and 200 boats to Carrollton’s Point Park.
Another fishing event, the Plapp’s Pro Ohio River Challenge, will also bring competitors to Carrollton on July 23, she said.

Carroll County Bridge

Photo by Don Ward

Last summer, the bridge over the Kentucky
River received a fresh coat of paint.

On Sept. 2, the city is reviving the Goldenrod Gala, a juried arts and crafts show that will take place at Gen. Butler State Resort Park and is being planned by a committee of people and headed by Welch at the county extension office. In addition to art, it will feature food and music.
City: Pyles reviewed the city’s work on the “blue bridge” that spans the Kentucky River near Point Park. She also said that the environmental cleanup company that rented the park during January 2005 to clean up the oil spill upriver on the Kentucky has offered to help pay for a new picnic shelter at Point Park. Mid Valley Pipeline Co. has offered $15,945 that city officials will use to match a state grant of the same amount to be used toward the project. Combined, the city will have just more than $30,000 for the shelter.
Pyles also reported that a landscaping project will begin this spring at the intersection of Hwys. 42 and Hwy. 227 in downtown Carrollton at the site of a former gas station, which was razed for the new roadway.
Ghent: Bob Sundermeyer recapped events in Ghent, saying city hall had moved its offices to the back of the former Ghent Christian Church that has been undergoing renovations. The $200,000 state grant money was approved 11/2 years ago and the building is available for rent for weddings and other events. Another $25,000 was raised in private and corporate donations to renovate the church.
County: Tomlinson, who recently filed for re-election, reported on several ongoing projects, including those involving roads, bridges, parks and his campaign to solicit state money to expand Jefferson Community College’s campus. He has sent more than 500 letters from residents in Carroll and neighboring counties in support of an expanded campus and a request for $11 million for the project.
“We know this is an uphill battle, but we also know the need is here and we’ll continue to push for it,” Tomlinson said.
He said a site selection committee is still working on the creation of an airport in Gallatin County near the Kentucky Speedway that would serve Carroll, Gallatin and Owen counties. A federal and state-funded feasibility study was completed in 2003. The cost to build the airport has been estimated between $10 million and $15 million.
Lonnie Sundermeyer, meanwhile, recapped chamber activities for 2005, saying membership had grown to more than 120. The budget, however, was cut by $2,000. Ticket sales for the annual banquet last fall and silent auction proceeds at that event were down last year. As a result, the amount of money dedicated to scholarship awards was reduced. The chamber will award four scholarship at the end of this school year instead of its usual five. The chamber did not produce a new Christmas ornament in 2005 but sold $1,500 worth of prior years’ ornaments.
Last year’s golf scramble was considered a success and will continue for the third year again this summer, June 7 at Fairway Golf Course. This year’s banquet is set for Aug. 8 at Gen. Butler’s Conference Center.

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