Building picked for honors

Published 7:20 pm Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It’s still two years away, but the Troy City Council is already preparing for Troy Fest in 2010.

As part of a statewide program called “Alabama Small Towns and Downtowns,” the city of Troy has been asked to choose a special historical landmark to unveil at the event.

Sheila Jackson, director of public relations and tourism, announced at Tuesday’s city council meeting the city has chosen the Johnson Center for the Arts as its historical marker, since the structure has played an important role in Troy’s history first as a post office and now as the art center.

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“The Johnson Center has been chosen, and at Troy Fest we will unveil the marker,” Jackson said.

The city will spend the next two years promoting the event, along with the state, in hopes of bringing thousands of people to the city of Troy.

Mayor Jimmy Lunsford told council members these types of events are the fruit of the city’s 4-percent lodging tax that was placed on hotels several years ago. But, he said he isn’t sure if a proposed 2-percent county lodging tax would be as fruitful.

“When we made a decision a few years ago to put a lodging tax on the first time we agreed we would use that money for tourism,” Lunsford said. “This is another example of how we use that tax.”

Lunsford said council members should start to formulate some opinion on how the city stands on the lodging tax proposed by the Pike County Commission.

“I feel very strongly a lodging tax can and should be used to promote lodging,” Lunsford said.

Also in its meeting, the council discussed refinishing the floor of the Recreation Department’s basketball gym, though no action was taken Tuesday night.

Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith said the gym’s flooring hasn’t been refinished since it was built three years ago.

Typically, Smith said the contractors recommend flooring is finished annually.

“They do Sartain Hall every year,” Smith said. “I’m of the opinion we can do it every two years, since we have already gone three.”

Smith said there are some parts of the gym floor that are completely worn from daily wear and tear.

The council will make a decision on the contract in their first meeting of December.

The city also agreed to seek assistance from the Natural Resource Conservation Service to make watershed repairs at the Troy Industrial Park. The grant amount sought is $12,800.