While the Rupp Arena project is on indefinite hold, Lexington city leaders still have expenses tied to the venture.
Plans to renovate Rupp and build a new convention center were postponed earlier this year. The decision came after the state general assembly turned down a request by project developers for $60 million. Project Manager Frank Butler's contract with the city runs through December of next year.
Participation in Lexington's annual minority-owned business expo continues to grow within and outside Kentucky. Over 500 attendees Friday heard advice on business planning, expansion, and start-up strategies.
A Morehead wood mill scheduled to open early next year is expected to help keep bourbon barrels rolling out of Lebanon, Kentucky.
The stave mill, an estimated $10 million investment, could mean 70 new jobs for the region. Independent Stave President Brad Boswell says the abundance of Kentucky Oak trees was a factor in selecting the Morehead site, "There's a wonderful resource of white oak logs in the Morehead area and we currently buy logs there, but we have to haul those logs to one of our other mill locations.”
An economics researcher says a groundbreaking for an aluminum plant in western Kentucky sends a bigger message about economic recovery. Governor Steve Beshear, who was joined by other public and private sector officials, broke ground last week on a $150 million dollar aluminum production plant in Bowling Green.
A federal labor department report released Thursday shows higher than anticipated job creation for June across the U.S. State Economist Manoj Shanker is also seeing employment gains in many Kentucky counties. "Compared to a year ago, 111 counties out of 120 are doing better than they were a year ago,” says Shanker. “As the state economy improves, it's almost evenly split, except for some parts of eastern Kentucky.”
Motorists traveling from one end of Kentucky to another this holiday period could see a differing range of gasoline prices. GasBuddy-Dot-Com Petroleum Analyst Patrick Dehaan says the lowest-priced gas is found near Bowling Green at three dollars 34 cents a gallon. Compare that to Louisville where travelers may find prices hovering around four dollars a gallon.
The mayors of Kentucky's two largest cities continue to promote an advanced manufacturing economic agenda. A university economist yesterday cited the state's diverse business makeup as one of its strongest attributes.
NASCAR fans could get a taste of Kentucky honey this weekend. Honey produced in Letcher County will be part of the Kentucky Proud display on Saturday during the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
In collaboration with the state agriculture department, Kentucky Proud products will be served at the Sparta track for the remainder of the racing season.
Ted Ratliff has been producing honey in eastern Kentucky for three years. Ratliff says he was approached by the state agriculture department about using his honey at the northern Kentucky track.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto are scheduled to meet later this week to discuss the Rupp Arena Project. The meeting this Thursday came at the request of Gray. Governor Steve Beshear supports the reinvention of Rupp and construction of a new convention center.
A state lawmaker from Lexington isn't surprised by poll results questioning the use of state funds to help reinvent Rupp Arena and build a new convention center. The survey showed only 18 percent of those questioned approved of spending state money on the 351 million dollar project.
Lexington Representative Jesse Crenshaw says it can be hard to sell long-term benefits. "People look at things and look at it from the standpoint of we have a number of needs that are pressing now, so we should spend anything for the future," said Crenshaw.
Some Kentucky military veteran farmers say they will plant a crop of hemp seeds this week following a federal court hearing.
The Kentucky Agriculture Department had sued the Drug Enforcement Agency over the agency's seizure of hemp seeds imported for research. A judge ruled that the seeds can be released with the proper permits.
Central Kentuckians may be hankering for local produce, but the wait may be a little longer this spring. A rather strong winter in many parts of Kentucky put a delay on plantings and the growing season.
Lexington city leaders are examining branding options. This week, Mayoral Senior Advisor Scott Shapiro laid out a "blue horse" logo option. He says there is a proliferation of city-related logos with no standard. "There are things that the city does that you all as council members fund that people of Lexington don't know that the city is responsible for," said Shapiro.
The Centre Point commercial development in the heart of downtown Lexington is in full construction mode. It's a large scale project, recently redefined in scope, approaching a cost of 400 million dollars and including hotel-retail-office- and condominium uses.
Lexington city leaders are looking into expanding where food trucks can conduct business. A city council committee reviewed a proposal Tuesday to allow food trucks in professional office zones around the community.
Division of Planning Director Chris King says proximity to neighborhoods should be considered. "The only thing that does give me pause is that a lot of times P-1 are very close to residential and were set up and agreed to by neighborhoods as a step down buffer and if a food truck came in running a generator, generating smells, they might not be happy," said King.
Scott Clark is an online business consultant and owner of Lexington-based BuzzMaven Labs. He focuses on helping his clients find ways to improve the performance of their websites. And he offers guidance on internet marketing investments and social media activities.