Treetop Adventure, a tourism draw

In only five months of operation, Treetop Adventure at Levi Jackson State Park welcomed nearly 6,000 guests, including visitors from 34 states and four foreign countries, year-end statistics show.
Treetop Adventure opened to the public on June 29 and remained in operation until mid November, thanks to warmer than expected weather.
The park is operated by City of London Tourism and was paid for by the city’s restaurant tax, which was implemented exclusively to fund tourism-related projects. It is the only municipally-owned aerial adventure park in Kentucky.
Treetop Adventure proved itself as a tourist draw, with 57 percent of the 6,000 guests coming from outside London. They brought money into the city’s restaurants, hotels and other businesses as well.
Thanks to the number of tickets sold, the park was able to pay for its staff, marketing and utilities.
“Our plan was to develop a unique attraction that both residents and visitors could enjoy and that could also generate enough revenue to be self sufficient,” said Chris Robinson, executive director of City of London Tourism.
The 16-person staff was a big reason the park was a success in its shortened first season, Robinson said.
“Our staff received so many positive comments and reviews,” he said. “We were fortunate to create such a good team of individuals that enjoyed working at Treetop. We look forward to the 2017 season.”
One of the goals for the upcoming season to is build a permanent office and bathrooms. The schedule is to open the park on weekends in late March or early April, if the weather is cooperative.
Another goal is to assemble another high-quality, customer-oriented staff, Robinson said.
“Part time and season applications can be completed at London City Hall beginning in February,” he said. “The new season is upon us.”
The park currently is accepting reservations for Spring field trips, which is a great activity for school groups, youth/church groups and others.
Treetop Adventure features five trails with 12 obstacles ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced, for ages seven and up.
The park was built by Outdoor Adventures, the country’s premier builder of aerial adventure parks.
The City of London leases the property from Kentucky State Parks.
For more information visit www.treetopadventureky.com or call 606-330-0501.

Thursday Night LIVE!

drone-gmo-1024x576Cumberland Valley National Bank’s Thursday Night Live is a FREE summer concert series held Thursdays in June, July & August.

Thursday Night Live hosts a DIFFERENT GENRE of live music every Thursday night from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on the Courthouse Square in downtown London, Kentucky. View the season calendar for schedule details.

2016calendarLive music performances including Bluegrass, Blues, Rock, Americana, Jazz, Gospel and Country will be performed and hosted by local & regional artists. TNL is a family friendly event and we welcome you to come and enjoy an evening of live music in our beautiful downtown.

Visit the Thursday Night LIVE website

 

A Tax-Friendly City

London is an attractive place for those who may be looking towards retirement.  The City of London ranks in the top 10 cities in Kentucky for retirees regarding taxes, according to New York-based SmartAsset. The city ranks 6th in the state, and ranks 505th nationally.

London Mayor Troy Rudder said the city prides itself on being able to annually lower the real estate taxIMG_1197 rate.

According to the study, a retiree in London bringing in $50,000 in retirement income can expect to pay just under $7,000 in income, sales and fuel taxes each year. In addition, the retiree’s home value will be taxed at 0.61 percent. But, for those over 65, a portion of their home value will not be taxed due to Kentucky’s Home-stead Exemption. In 2015-2016, the amount of the exemption was $36,900; the amount changes yearly.

The study is based on a retiree receiving $15,000 in Social Security benefits, $10,000 from a private pension, $15,000 from retirement savings such as a 401k or IRA and $10,000 in wages.

Social security income is entirely exempt from state income taxes, Other types of retirement income receive significant reductions in the state income tax. In fact, a retiree can have more than $40,000 in retirement income and not be required to pay any state income taxes, as up to $41,110 in income is deductible. Home values are relatively low, essentially meaning less of a retiree’s income will go to property taxes.

To calculate its findings, SmartAsset determined income tax expected to be paid, then calculated the effective property tax rate by dividing the average property tax paid by median home value for each city.

“The city has worked very hard to keep the tax rate as low as we possibly can,” Rudder said.

 

 

Ladies of Vision

13241173_1771760206389445_3910622692407247253_nLadies of Vision, a regional group of women in Southeastern Kentucky are gaining ground. The group is a branch off of the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce and meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 8:30am. The group is made up of local female business owners and their mission is to inspire other women to give back to their communities through networking, volunteerism and mentoring.

Most recently they’ve brought the Empowering Women’s Expo to London in May at the London Community Center. The expo featured over 50 vendors ranging from local clothing boutiques to abuse prevention centers. A full day of speakers were scheduled providing information about eating well to current fashion.

Women were networking, empowering each other, and sharing life changing information at the Expo. Ladies of Vision are excited about the opportunities and changes that will occur because business owners and members of the community came together to share their passions and careers.

“When you place a large group of innovators together, you spark change and inspiration,” said a Ladies of Vision member.

For more information about Ladies of Vision visit their Facebook Page or the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Neighborhood Watch Program

The London Police Department is looking to expand their Neighborhood Watch program, with five neighborhoods currently meeting on a monthly basis. The program’s motto of “we look out for each other,” exemplifies the positive influence the program has had over the years within London, and what’s been practiced throughout participating neighborhoods nation-wide.

“It’s a really great thing that’s starting to gain some ground here in London,” said Magen neighborhoodwatch2Zawko, Public Information Officer at the London Police Department.

Neighborhood Watch is a gathering of neighbors who meet with officers periodically to discuss ways to keep their neighborhood safe. Citizens are encouraged to bring their personal questions to the table one-on-one with an officer as well.

IMG_1183“A nation-wide study expressed that 96 percent of neighbors actually feel safer when they know who’s living beside them… in this day and time, many people don’t know who their neighbors are,” said Zawko.

Local churches are even getting on board with neighborhood meetings by cooking meals for the families and having fellowship along the sidewalks. If you are interested in joining a Neighborhood Watch or looking to help out, contact the London Police Department at (606) 878-7004.To learn more about the Neighborhood Watch program visit the London Police Department’s website.

 

Grab a Bite Downtown

Whether you’re looking to relax with a cup of coffee, meet with a client for lunch, or enjoy a night out – downtown London has a seat awaiting you!

Three family owned eateries can be found right off of Main Street in the heart of downtown. Weaver’s on 4th located at 131 N. Main St. is open 7:30am – 10pm Monday through Wednesday, 7:30am – 12am Thursday through Friday, 9:30am – 12am Saturday, and is closed on Sunday. They’ve been serving London’s finest chili, hot dogs, and hamburgers for over 71 years. Cuisine served includes a taste of home with breakfast, burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. They do take reservations and have waiter service. To contact Weaver’s on 4th, call 606.864.9937 or visit their facebook page.

The Abbey Restaurant located at 132 N. Main St. is open 11am – 9pm serving American (new), American (traditional), burgers and steakhouse cuisine. This inviting casual restaurant with waiter service takes reservations, walk-ins, and take out orders. To contact The Abbey, call 606.864.0044 or visit their Facebook page.

Brie’s Brews Coffeehouse located at 202 E. 4th St. is open 7am – 4pm serving espresso based drinks, loose leaf and bagged teas, Italian sodas, and delicious smoothies. Their house coffee is a blend of 5 beans from Central America, Indonesia and Africa. The unique signature of this medium roast coffee is a lightly sweet taste with a nutty undertone.  Breakfast and lunch cuisine served includes America (new), breakfast, Ethiopian, sandwiches, Thai and vegetarian. For more about Brie’s Brews stop in and pay the owners Brishan and Jef Powell a visit, email them at BriesBrews@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page.

No matter where you choose to relax or dine at, you’ll be greeted by London’s great hospitality.

City Parks Update

London’s Safety Officer and Director of Risk Management, Rick Cochrane, gave a progress report to the Laurel County Health in Motion Coalition about the City of London’s park progre20160617_135058ss.  The City has placed an emphasis on making London’s parks friendly for the entire community, as well as making them a safe place to exercise and play. All of the City’s funding for parks derives from the City’s Restaurant Tax.

  • The Wellness Park includes 47 acres and two miles of off-road biking. The park is within “Phase 5” and will include more parking, two new bathrooms, a splash pad, two volleyball courts, an extra walking trail, and an additional shelter.
  • The Whitley Branch Park, which includes 14.5 acres of parking, wooded areas and a dog park, is projected to be complete by March of
    2017. The dog park will include separate roaming areas for small and large20160617_121630 dogs.
  • The Rotary Park is currently complete and is the only park in the state that is totally handicap accessible.
  • The Treetop Adventure Park located within the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park is now open. The aerial park allows guests to travel through five trails and 60 obstacles within the treetops. There are five trails with 12 elements, each color-coded from beginner to advanced. There’s ziplines, challenges, bridges, and more.

The City’s partnership with the Laurel County Health in Motion Coalition is key in helping make London a healthier place to live, work, and play.

June City Council

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY

COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LONDON, KENTUCKY,

HELD JUNE 6, 2016

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of London, Kentucky, was held June 6, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall in London, Kentucky. Mayor Troy Rudder was absent, therefore Councilperson Judson Weaver was appointed as Mayor Pro Tem, and the following duly qualified and acting members of the City Council were present:

Councilperson Kelly Greene

Councilperson Jason Handy

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman

Councilperson Danny Phelps

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn

Councilperson Judson Weaver

City Attorney Larry Bryson was present.

* * *

The meeting was called to order by Judson Weaver, Mayor Pro Tem.

A motion was made by Councilperson Nancy Vaughn and seconded by Councilperson Kelly Greene to approve the Minutes of May 2, 2016 and to dispense with the readings of these minutes.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Jason Handy, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

A Resolution was presented on behalf of the London Fire Department to make an application for the United States Department of Homeland Security funds for a project to be administered by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, for funds the city will use for the purchase of equipment and/or services.

A motion was made by Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman and seconded by Councilperson Jason Handy to approve the Resolution and to authorize Mayor Rudder to execute the same.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Jason Handy, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

Steve Edge, Public Works Director was present to request approval to advertise for black top bids.

A motion was made by Councilperson Jason Handy and seconded by Councilperson Nancy Vaughn to authorize Steve Edge to advertise for blacktop bids for the upcoming year.

London City Council

June 6, 2016

Page Two

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Jason Handy, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

An Ordinance Establishing a Six Month Limited Pilot Program for Certain Mobile Food Unit Vendors to Lawfully Operate in Designated Street Parking Areas and Providing for Licensing; Compliance with Ordinance and Program Requirements; Food Vending Zones; Hours of Operation; Insurance; and Fines not to Exceed Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for Each Violation; All Effective Upon Date of Publication was read for the second time by Attorney Larry G. Bryson.

A motion was made by Councilperson Nancy Vaughn and seconded by Councilperson Kelly Greene to approve the second reading of said Ordinance and to authorize the publication of same.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Jason Handy, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

Steve Edge, Public Works Director presented the 2016-2017 Kentucky Pride Fund Recycling Grant Agreement. The approved amount for the Grant is $141,299.13.

A motion was made by Councilperson Danny Phelps and seconded by Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman to approve the Recycling Grant Agreement and authorize Mayor Rudder to execute the same.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Jason Handy, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

An Ordinance Adopting a Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 by Estimating Revenues and Resources and Appropriating Funds for the Operation of City Government was read by Attorney Larry G. Bryson for the first time.

A motion was made by Councilperson Danny Phelps and seconded by Councilperson Nancy Vaughn to approve the first reading of said Ordinance.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

London City Council

June 6, 2016

Page Three

Councilperson Jason Handy, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

There being no further business, a motion was made by Councilperson Jason Handy and seconded by Councilperson Kelly Greene to adjourn the meeting.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Jason Handy, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

Judson Weaver, Mayor Pro Tem declared the meeting adjourned.

________________________________

MAYOR PRO TEM, JUDSON WEAVER

May City Council

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY

COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LONDON, KENTUCKY,

HELD MAY 2, 2016

A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of London, Kentucky, was held May 2, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall in London, Kentucky. Mayor Troy Rudder presided, and the following duly qualified and acting members of the City Council were present:

Councilperson Kelly Greene

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman

Councilperson Danny Phelps

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn

Councilperson Judson Weaver

City Attorney Larry Bryson was present.

Absent from the meeting was Councilperson Jason Handy.

* * *

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Troy Rudder.

A motion was made by Councilperson Nancy Vaughn and seconded by Councilperson Kelly Greene to approve the Minutes of April 4 and April 18, 2016 and to dispense with the readings of these minutes.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

Councilperson Judson Weaver, yes

Christie Shrader, Board Coordinator for the Laurel County Agency for Substance Abuse (A.S.A.P.) was present on behalf of ASAP. Mayor Rudder presented Ms. Shrader with a check in the amount of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) donated by the London Police Department through its Federal Forfeiture Fund. The money will go to help make up for cuts to the Agency’s budget. Chief Derek House stated, “We’ve been involved with them for years so this is an opportunity to be even more involved with them and continue the program even further.” The forfeiture money is comprised of federal money received from prosecutions and that the funds can be donated to non-profit organizations who deal with drug education, treatment and prevention such as A.S.A.P.

Mayor Rudder presented the Council with a board reappointment of Mike Bowling to the London Utility Commission. Mr. Bowling has served on the Utility Commission Board for many years.

A motion was made by Councilperson Nancy Vaughn and seconded by Councilperson Judson Weaver to reappoint Mike Bowling to the London Utility Commission Board.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

London City Council

May 2, 2016

Page Two

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

Councilperson Judson Weaver, yes

An Ordinance Establishing a Six Month Limited Pilot Program for Certain Mobile Food Unit Vendors to Lawfully Operate in Designated Street Parking Areas and Providing for Licensing; Compliance with Ordinance and Program Requirements; Food Vending Zones; Hours of Operation; Insurance; and Fines not to Exceed Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for Each Violation; All Effective Upon Date of Publication was read for the first time by Attorney Larry G. Bryson.

A motion was made by Councilperson Nancy Vaughn and seconded by Councilperson Kelly Greene to approve the first reading of said Ordinance.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

Councilperson Judson Weaver, yes

Molly Barnett, Director of London Downtown informed the council members that Saturday, April 30 was a huge success for the work in Downtown London. Ms. Barnett thanked everyone for their hard work; the town looks wonderful. Ms. Barnett also talked about Thursday Night Live and asked that Main Street be closed during this time, which will begin on June 2 until August 11.

A motion was made by Councilperson Kelly Greene and seconded by Councilperson Danny Phelps to allow Main Street to be closed for Thursday Night Live beginning June 2, 2016.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

Councilperson Judson Weaver, yes

There being no further business, a motion was made by Councilperson Judson Weaver and seconded by Councilperson Kelly Greene to adjourn the meeting.

Then upon this motion came the following vote:

Councilperson Kelly Greene, yes

Councilperson Bobby Joe Parman, yes

Councilperson Danny Phelps, yes

Councilperson Nancy Vaughn, yes

Councilperson Judson Weaver, yes

London City Council

May 2, 2016

Page Three

Mayor Rudder declared the meeting adjourned.

________________________________

MAYOR TROY RUDDER

_________________________

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