2019 Community Clean Up Day

More than 60 volunteers participated Saturday morning in the 2019 Community Clean Up Day in downtown London. Dozens of bags of trash were removed to help London look its best during the World Chicken Festival next week.

Non-profit groups competed for prizes for the number of participants in each group and the total bags of litter collected. Each volunteer also received a free pass to Treetop Adventure.

Thanks to everyone who made the Clean Up Day a great success. Also, thanks to First National Bank of Manchester, Daniel Carmack of Sallie Davidson Realtors and Todd Strouse- Edward Jones Investments for their generous prize donations.

London-Corbin Airport awarded $809,332 Federal Grant

The London-Corbin Airport has been awarded a $809,332 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help rehabilitate the runway.

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) made the announcement Thursday afternoon.

In July, the airport was also awarded a $1.85 million competitive grant through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The funding is part of a $5 million project to repair and upgrade nearly 6,000 feet of existing runway that has severely deteriorated, developing significant safety hazards.

“Our small airports are as essential as highways to economic development and progress in Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” said Congressman Rogers. “As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have been a long-time advocate for federal funding that boosts rural airport operations. With immediate access to I-75, the London-Corbin Airport is a hub for business development and incredible opportunities, including visits from national leaders, such as Vice President Mike Pence who landed at the airport in August. I applaud the board for diligently competing for grant opportunities necessary for repairs and upgrades at this vital regional airport.”

“We appreciate the investment of these federal funds to help us make critical repairs to our runway,” said Matthew Singer, Airport Manager. “This airport is an incredible asset for our region and we are dedicated to maintaining its value to Laurel County and the area as a whole, as we continue to grow and recruit new opportunities.”

In May, Congressman Rogers and Governor Bevin visited the London-Corbin Airport to celebrate a new Aviation Maintenance Technician Training Program in partnership with Eastern Kentucky University and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, supported by grant funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

According to the FAA’s most recent economic analysis, U.S. civil aviation accounts for $1.6 trillion in total economic activity and supports nearly 11 million jobs.

Levi Jackson Park

“With just a little stroke of the pen we brought Levi Jackson back home. Now it belongs to the citizens of the city and county and we are so proud that we were able to do that.” Those were the words of Mayor Troy Rudder this morning after the city officially took control of Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, which will now be just Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park since is no longer owned by the state.

Mayor Rudder joined members of the London City Council, London Tourism and state property official Jason Martin at the signing ceremony at city hall. New park superintendent Joey Engle introduced two members of his staff and said they are eager to get started improving the rundown state park.

The city has been working to gain control of Levi Jackson for several years after the state expressed a willingness to give it away due to a lack of money for its upkeep. The city will use tourism funds to maintain and expand the park. The deed represents about 900 acres and includes the Laurel County Fairgrounds and the J.M. Feltner 4-H Camp, which will continue to be leased by the state.

College Park Dr. Pond Drains

The apparent failure of an overflow pipe caused the large pond at Somerset Community College to drain almost completely away overnight Wednesday, Aug. 28th. The water started draining following a hard rain after midnight, and had disappeared by 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 28th.

Loss of the large volume of water also caused the side of the main road leading to the London-Laurel Wellness Park to give way, prompting officials to close the road until the situation is assessed. After initially believing the park could stay open via a detour, SCC officials informed London Parks and Recreation Director Mackie Williams that they were concerned about the stability of the area, and asked that the Wellness Park be closed through the Labor Day weekend.

The pond and the drainage system were built decades ago when the property was a depot for coal coming in from Eastern Kentucky. Four large heavy equipment tires were uncovered in the bottom of the pond. London and Laurel County purchased the property and later deeded portions, including the road, to Somerset Community College.

Williams said he inspected below the Wellness Park where the drain pipe exits to make sure there was no flood damage from the millions of gallons of water sucked out of the pond. “I went all the way down to the railroad track and there wasn’t any damage,” he said. “There is a big culvert under the railroad track that leads to the Little Laurel River back there. The creek is huge so the water just dispersed.”

The Wellness Park off College Park Dr. re-opened on Wednesday, Sept. 4th. For safety purposes, the City is asking the public to follow the “detour” signs to the park and use caution while driving through Somerset Community College’s Laurel Campus to access the road between the ponds.

As always, be mindful of pedestrians and enjoy the park!

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