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Bluegrass Star to headline Calvert’s Sesquicentennial in 2021

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A contractor has promised to have fuel at Kentucky Dam Airport before Aug. 17. And Rhonda Vincent and The Rage will headline Calvert City’s Sesquicentennial celebration next year.

That was the word from the city council’s online meeting July 13.

The city had hoped to have fuel available at the airport 18 months ago, however, unforeseen complications prompted delays. “We’ve been on a merry-go-round with the contractor,” aviation consultant Tim Haskell told the council. “The contractor was given an eight-week notice on June 16 that on Aug. 17, we would initiate the financial performance penalties. They have indicated they are on schedule to have the system up and running prior to Aug. 17. The latest issue was regarding the type of dispenser they were going to use, and the first two or three options they suggested were rejected by us and by the (state) fire marshal. So we are back on track.”

Haskell also reported the runway paving design and T-hangars access taxiways are in the Kentucky Department of Aviation for review. “We do not expect any issues there,” he said. “We are on schedule to advertise and to be ready to award a bid following the September city council meeting.” Both projects are fully funded by the state.

Marketing Director Blair Travis announced she has booked Vincent and her No.1 Bluegrass band, The Rage, to perform Saturday night, July 3, 2021. The Rage also features Marshall County’s Josh Williams, an outstanding instrumentalist and vocalist who began his career here while still in high school. Williams is the son of the late Tony Williams of Benton who managed his early career and was a regional Bluegrass promoter.

Another attraction Travis has booked for the three-day celebration marking the 150th anniversary of the city’s founding is a 60-foot Ferris wheel. The Sesquicentennial will culminate with AmeriBration on the Fourth of July. Because of COVID-19, AmeriBration was cancelled this year.

“Blair is working very closely with other folks in the community in the music world to make things happen — like Clay Campbell and the Badgett Theater,” said Mayor Lynn Jones. Campbell owns Kentucky Opry in Draffenville and Bill Minihan runs Badgett Playhouse in Grand Rivers. “We’re trying to make our 150th anniversary a partnership so that other communities will be a part of what we are doing,” Jones added. “If we can work together as a regional group, we have an opportunity to do whatever we want to do in the future. I think this is just the beginning of other things that can happen.”

Travis said the city is trying to “recreate the 1971 Centennial. “There is an event program that I found, and it had several things like street carnivals and a kids parade,” she said. “… One of those events was a fiddlers’ contest. I talked with Clay Campbell about working together to have a fiddlers’ contest on Sunday. And hopefully, we’ll have a community church hymn sing that morning, then have the fiddlers’ contest with clogging — just a good old knee slapping good time.”

Travis also announced:

• 248 community surveys had been completed as of the previous Friday. The survey was conducted through July 10 in connection with the city’s five-year comprehensive plan now under development.

• A fundraiser to provide grants for local small businesses that suffered financially during the COVID-19 shutdown, collected $15,000.

• The city has started a monthly writing contest for youths 5-18. Writers may submit a short story, poem or essay online. Submission deadline is the 5th of each month. The winner each month will receive a $50 prize from the Calvert Area Development Association.

• Food Truck Fridays have reopened from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Beginning in September the food trucks will be open from 4 to 7 p.m.

In other business the council:

• Decided to refer to the planning and zoning commission a complaint from Savannah and David Alvey regarding an orange net construction fence installed by a neighbor.

• Discussed at length unsightly growth in the median of U.S. 62 and numerous signs on the right-of-way leading to Kentucky Dam State Resort Park. Councilwoman Tanara Babcock said she has read negative comments on Facebook about the problem.

“We’re trying to be a park setting in the median, and on the south side we have 22 signs on that road,” said Councilman Gene Colburn. “It looks terrible. … Are the semis wanting to park on that overflow?”

Jones said he plans to meet with the district highway engineer to discuss the issue. “I don’t like it either,” he said. “You’re right, aesthetically, it looks horrifically bad going into a place where we are trying to make it look very nice. … Then to put up a sign saying ‘don’t do this, don’t do that.’ I’m not about that; I’m going to talk to the engineer.”