City says solution for lackluster Weisiger fountain in the works

Published 8:09 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

Monday, during the Danville City Commission meeting, City Manager Ron Scott said a meeting was planned with Brandstetter Carroll, the firm responsible for the malfunctioning water fountain in Weisiger Park. The fountain has been a point of contention in the city; a group of citizens even collected money in order to get a replacement, and circulated a petition about their desire.

Later in the week, Scott said city staff met with Brandstetter Carroll on Tuesday in order to come up with a viable solution to fix the issues. As city officials have said in the past, the difficulties with the fountain have been no secret, with its malfunctions, and have likened it to a “glorified planter.”

Scott said staff and the firm discussed potential improvements that could be made “in a cost-effective manner” to the small fountain.

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“Based on our discussion, seemingly an appropriate improvement can be fairly easily engineered and implemented to improve that corner of the park,” Scott said. He said a design or approach to a revised fountain will be discussed at the next city commission meeting, on Aug. 26.

“If approved, the final design will be made and the project would go forward,” he said.

In other business, Scott said the city is “making substantial progress” on completing the Lexington Avenue park and splash pad.

Scott said about a third of the concrete had been poured as of Monday, the water pressure has been tested and Public Works is continuing to work on it. An electrician and plumbers still need to do a certain amount of work on the park, and the splash pad could be completed “prior to the end of the August.”

In the downtown streetscape work, Scott said the city is making “rapid and substantial progress,” and have some remaining work to do with ADA railing needed in front of Tut’s restaurant, just past city hall. He said it took a couple of weeks to get the railing in and installed.

“And we have some possible technical issues to review with the contractor, there might be a little bit of a final adjustment made in that, but we’re making pretty rapid progress.”

With wayfinding — the attempt to redesign signage around town for area attractions — Scott said, “We finished that process some time ago and we agreed with the commission in completing that study that we could have various phases of that brought before the city commission for your approval as we implement that.”

Scott said in reality, “given the work the state is doing here and the work we’re doing on other projects, it’s going to be a little while before the state will likely respond to our written request for encroachment permits.” He said the next action with wayfinding will be “a little bit more in the future.”

With the trial run of the Main Street lane reduction, Scott said he didn’t have any scientific response regarding the change. “I’ve heard very few negative comments,” he said. “Most of them have been positive that I have heard, in terms of it appears the traffic is moving slower, or is easier to cross the street now and (citizens) feel safer doing it.”

Scott said staff has observed the que, with turning at the light on Fourth Street, “it typically completely empties with 10 or as many as 12 cars during a signal change, so seemingly things are proceeding maybe better than we first expected …”

Mayor Mike Perros said, “The only comment I want to make on the new arrangement out there is a reminder that the state didn’t want to put that turn signal in, and kudos to Judge Hunt for holding their feet to the fire, and I hope he will do the same with the similar arrangement at Third and Main.” He was referring to a past meeting with the Transportation Cabinet, involving Boyle County Judge-Executive Howard Hunt.

Scott said, “Yes, you’ve made that comment before, and that is correct. We were in that meeting when he made those comments and I think it’s appropriate to give the judge credit for that.”

On Monday, Scott and others had heard the Transportation Cabinet had canceled the meeting planned for Tuesday with downtown business owners to give input on the lane reduction trial. Some business owners were personally invited via a hand-delivered invitation from the Cabinet sometime before; at least one business owner said his store never received an invitation or any notice about the meeting.

Apparently, the state had actually canceled, then rescheduled the meeting for the elected officials, which led to the confusion about Tuesday’s meeting. Both meetings were held this week, with a third planned for the general public on Sept. 5.

“Thus far, they still intend to have a meeting towards the conclusion of the project to discuss the results with the public and with the commission, at the point of making a determination — do we proceed with making this change a permanent fixture, or do we revert to an earlier scheme.”

Scott said there are a number of projects, “administratively, in the hopper that we’ve been working on for some time. Those include, through our contractors, our budget salary survey and a review of all the positions paid by the city currently, and we expect to have that report back early October.”

The city also continues to work on the construction planning for the new downtown fire station, Scott said, doing design-tweaks and other related issues.