City to look at unified branding

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By Jeff Moore

With the help of a local graphic designer, the city of Carrollton will look at developing new unified branding.

Justin Bessinger came to city council to offer his services for free to help the city of Carrollton with rebranding.

It’s important to have a unified theme that ties together city departments, downtown and the new river walk to give residents something to “rally behind,” Bessinger said. It also will convey credibility to visitors to the community, he said.

Mayor Gene McMurry said Carrollton Utilities recently moved to a new logo design to eliminate confusion between its vehicles and those from the city.

Councilwoman Ann Deatherage said the current logo was developed in the 1980s and is somewhat out of date because the snowflakes at the top were added to indicate the ski lodge that used to be located at General Butler State Resort Park.

Carrollton Main Street Manager Sam Burgess said developing a unified logo for the city, as well as the county, is important in marketing a community. And he said it can be an expensive proposition.

Bessinger, who moved to Carroll County less than a year ago, said he will need help to identify “who we are” for the branding effort.

Council agreed to form a committee that will include Burgess, Councilwoman Hayley Franklin and a representative from tourism to work with Bessinger on the project.

Councilman Mike Gordon asked that they also examine the cost of rebranding.

“The end result is what it’s going to cost us,” he said.

McMurry said a new logo could be phased in over time so that it would not be so expensive.

Councilman Robb Adams asked if the city should try to stop work on the new welcome signs to include any new logo that is developed. But most members of council agreed it doesn’t need to be on the signs.


River walk benches

City council agreed on wrought iron benches that will match those already in use around downtown for the new river walk.

McMurry said he has received interest from at least four families that would like to purchase benches in memory of a loved one, along with a local church. He said they had mentioned granite, which runs about $1,500 per bench.

Burgess asked council to consider sticking with the black iron benches that were used in the streetscape project about a decade ago. He said the 10 that are scattered around downtown have held up well.

“It would be much more cohesive,” he said.

The company that made the benches, Stewart Iron Works of Erlanger, still makes them at a cost of just more than $700 each, he said.

A bronze plaque can be added to dedicate the bench or to carry the city logo for about $175, if it is installed while it is being built.

McMurry said he had thought the metal would be more likely to snag debris when water rises along the river. However, he said there are concerns about granite because skate boarders could try to get on them.

Councilman Dwight Louden said there is more potential for graffiti. He said he likes the ones that are in the city RV park.

Adams said he doesn’t favor granite because it belongs in a cemetery.

Burgess suggested the city go with the 5-foot wide benches because two people can sit comfortably on them and they are not long enough for someone to sleep on.

Council approved the bench style, but did not address whether to also go with the wrought iron trash cans to match those in downtown. McMurry said they could look at this once they have pricing on them.


Downtown building lights

Businessman D.J. Carroll, owner of Easy Pro Property Services, came to council to ask about the project that he undertook with the city and other groups to light the tops of downtown buildings at the holidays.

He said he had not heard anything from the city on the lighting project.

McMurry said the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, Carrollton/Carroll County Tourism and Main Street Program, along with council members, have decided not to do the project. Instead, he said they opted to go a different direction.

Carroll said he had read in the newspaper where city leaders had considered doing the lighting on its own.

Gordon said the council did not include funding for this lighting in its budget at all this year. He said the effort did “seem a little costly.”

Adams said the decision was no reflection on Carroll or the work he did on the lighting the past three years.

Burgess said the focus has moved more toward decorations for street lights and poles. He said they received the most community response on the new lights that were added along Highland Avenue.


New CNG fill rate considered

City council approved an amendment to a Carrollton Utilities ordinance on rates for natural gas on first reading.

CU Manager Bill Osborne said the utility now has its first outside customer for compressed natural gas, which is referred to as CNG, and needs to have its rate structure in place.

The ordinance states the rate will be based on the price of natural gas for an equivalent of a gallon of gasoline to cover the gas supply cost, interstate pipeline charges, local distribution charges, and operational, capital recovery costs, maintenance and any other costs to deliver it.

Currently that price is at about $1.50 per gallon, Osborne said.



Carrollton Police Chief Mike Willhoite said the city has designated Oct. 31 for children to trick-or-treat this year. Hours will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. He said when it does not present a conflict, they like to keep it on the actual day of Halloween.


211 service available locally

Willhoite said he learned last week that Metro United Way of Louisville’s 211 service is available locally for residents in the city and county.

He said the number allows people to call free of charge for help with health and human services issues. He said the number offers information to assist with issues such as childcare, domestic violence, emergency shelter, healthcare, substance abuse treatment, crisis support, senior care and job training.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and in 100 languages.


Special events approved

Council voted to allow the Carrollton United Methodist Church to again close Fourth Street between Highland Avenue and Sycamore Street on Oct. 31 for a Halloween event.

Bands and BBQ also won approval to use Point Park for the 2014 event on Sept. 4-6.


Upcoming events

• Another Reason to Be Thankful, a customer appreciation event sponsored by Carrollton Main Street Program, Saturday, Nov. 23.

• Small Business Saturday. Downtown merchants will offer specials and hold open houses as part of the nationwide event Nov. 30, which is sponsored by American Express.

• A Christmas Carroll, downtown’s annual holiday celebration, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, featuring a crafters tent, visits with Santa, parade, carriage rides and music.