Danville reviews plans for outdoor pool at Jennie Rogers; Lanier Toliver House given landmark status; RURAL health study coming to Boyle
Published 8:48 am Sunday, January 29, 2023
The Danville City Commission heard a parks master plan implementation update by design firm Bayer and Becker at their meeting on Monday.
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One major decision the city needs to make is where to put a new aquatics facility, which would replace the aging outdoor pool at the Bunny Davis center.
One option is to build an outdoor pool at Millennium Park, and another is to put one at McDowell Wellness Center and create a partnership with them. In December, the commission expressed interest in pursuing the idea of putting the pool at the new Jennie Rogers Community Center.
Bayer and Becker conducted a study and came up with a site plan for how the pool would fit best at Jennie Rogers.
They determined it would work best on the northwest side of the property. It would go where there’s currently a grassy hill on the site. They would expand the parking lot to the west side, making its size equal to the length of the pool area.
The pool would be the same size as the one at Bunny Davis. But it would have a larger slide, another water feature and zero depth entry.
The pool would connect to the basement level of Jennie Rogers, which does not currently have plans to be used for anything else, and already has bathrooms and locker rooms. There would be stairs to the first floor of Jennie Rogers with a shaded area, kitchen and space for concessions, gym and other things.
The city wanted to look into the Jennie Rogers option mainly because of the cost. The option to build a pool at McDowell Wellness Center is at least $24 million, whereas this option is much less.
Bayer and Becker estimated that the total cost for Jennie Rogers aquatics would be between $7.5 and $8.6 million. Commissioners said this amount is much more feasible.
The commission agreed to hold a workshop in February to discuss ideas further. The workshop will be open to the public.
Upon recommendation from the Architectural Heritage Board, the commission approved a resolution to designate the Lanier – Toliver House as a stand-alone landmark due to its age and historical significance. The house is located at 637 N. 3rd Street, and is an old Victorian likely built in 1895.
Joni House with the Architectural Heritage Board said the house demonstrates how Danville grew through history, and local educator Edna Toliver was born and raised in the house. She is the namesake of Toliver Elementary School.
The house will be brought under the zoning ordinance for historic overlay, so any exterior changes will have to go through the architectural review board’s hearing process. House said the owners are currently restoring the home.
The commission heard a presentation about a new health study coming to Boyle County. Stephanie Boone from the University of Louisville, who’s part of the School of Public Health and Information Sciences, is involved in conducting the RURAL (Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal) Study about heart and lung health.
With funds from the National Institute of Health, it’s a long-term study on the baseline heart health and lung function of people in rural areas. Boone said there have been very few studies on heart and lung health in rural communities over a long period of time.
They are recruiting 4,600 people from Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to participate.
About 1,600 of those people will be recruited from Kentucky in four selected counties: Perry, Breathitt, Boyle and Garrard. They’re looking for about 523 people from Boyle County. Recruitment efforts will begin by the end of 2023. People may receive invitations by mail to participate. Participants must be working age adults between 25 and 64 years old.
Participants will have to get exams on heart, lung and blood vessel health. The study has pay incentives totalling $150 to get an initial exam, wear a fitbit and answer questions on an app over a six month period, and get another exam after six months.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved a resolution to buy new playground equipment for Jackson Park and Cowan Street Parks for $113,374. The city recently received a Land and Water Conservation Grant, which reimburses 80% of the project cost. Commissioners discussed the need to raise awareness of those parks to increase their usage.
• Approved a proclamation to celebrate February as Black History Month. The commission presented the proclamation to Michael Hughes, president of the Danville-Boyle County African American Historical Society. Hughes said they will display it in their History Center. The DBCAAHS is celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2023.
• Recognized Maintenance Supervisor Roger Webb on his retirement from the Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Department. Commissioners expressed their appreciation for his service.
• Approved a zone change recommendation for 2170 Shakertown Road for 24 acres. Danville Christian Academy applied for this zone change from agriculture to institutional campus district, which is what schools are usually zoned for. The school is looking to use that land for future development with buildings or athletic fields.
• The Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce invites the public to “Coffee with Legislators” on Feb. 3 at Inter County Energy from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. to meet Boyle’s new State Senator Amanda Mays Bledsoe and Representative Daniel Elliott. People can RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Community Liaison Melanie Crossfield made a proposal that the city sign up for Yiftee, a community gift card program. Yiftee allows people to buy digital gift cards for spending at local businesses that may not sell gift cards. It’s free for cities and businesses to utilize. Businesses that participate in the program would have to be able to accept Mastercard. Purchasing the gift cards would include a fee of $1 plus 5%.
• Finance Director Leigh Compton gave a report that 31 new business licenses were issued in December. They issued 443 total in 2022, and all information about new area businesses is available on the city’s website.
• Parks and Recreation Director Evan Teague gave a report on their activities. Basketball and cheerleading are underway with 579 players and 86 cheerleaders. Pickleball is hosted at the Jennie Rogers Community Center on Wednesday and Sunday evenings during the winter months. Baseball and softball signups will start in March with 24 tournaments scheduled for Millennium Park. More information is available on the Parks and Recreation website.