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Fiscal Court OKs lease for amphitheater, clears way for Foster drama’s 60th season

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 — An agreement approved Tuesday by Nelson Fiscal Court means that the shows — The Stephen Foster Story and Mary Poppins – The Broadway Musical — will hit the stage this summer as planned at the J. Dan Talbott Amphitheatre.

Fiscal court unanimously approved entering into a five-year lease of the amphitheater property from the state. The lease is renewable for two additional five-year terms, Judge Executive Dean Watts told the court.

The county will then lease the property back to the drama association.

The needed physical and electrical repairs in the amphitheater’s stage and backstage areas will be addressed once the property is leased to the county.

“That will allow us to partner with the community at large and make the necessary upgrades,” he said.

Watts said he would look to private partnerships and the tourism commission to help fund the project.

However, the plan is not to make the lease a long-term one, Watts explained. Discussions are under way for the state to permanently deed the drama property to county government.

WICKLAND REPAIRS. The court approved a proposal to repair the fire-damaged smaller home on the county-owned Wickland estate. The work — to be performed by Bill Brown Construction — is aimed at return the building to use and to protect it from further deterioration.

Magistrate Keith Metcalfe asks questions about the Wickland repair project at Tuesday’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting.

The home suffered heavy damage in a fire in July 2017.

The plan is to demolish the rear section of the home and not replace it at this time. The home’s floor joists will be repairs or replaced, and damaged windows repaired or replaced. The project estimate is $50,000.

The rear wing of the home will be replaced at a later time. Magistrates had questioned the final cost of repairing the fire damaged home. Magistrate Keith Metcalfe agreed that once the home’s fire damage is repaired it will be easier to estimate the replacement of the rear wing.

FALLEN OFFICER MEMORIAL. Nelson Fiscal Court approved a donation to help fund a fallen officer’s memorial that has been proposed by the local police agencies and the Fraternal Order of Police.

The proposed monument will be located on the lawn between the Nelson County Justice Center and the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office.

Five officers have lost their lives in Nelson County, with Jason Ellis’ death the most recent.

The city and county governments have been asked to contribute $2,788. More than $9,000 has been raised in donations for the project, Watts said.

In other business, the court:

— was reminded that the county’s Bulky Item Pickup service starts Monday, Feb. 26, 2018.

— appointed Paul McCoy to the Bardstown-Nelson County Tourist Commission.

— approved a joint appointment with the City of Bardstown to place Todd Johnson on the Development Review Board.

— approved a consumer price index salary increase of 2.1 percent for elected local officials in Nelson County.

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