Bids to taken for expansion to McDowell room at centre

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 SHEPHERDSVILLE - The next step will be taken into planned expansion work at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre.

The tourist commission unanimously voted to have Scott Kremer work on plans for the expanded McDowell Room.

With the drawn plans, bids can then be accepted for the project.

Commissioner James Watkins said once the bids are in the board can determine whether to move forward with the project.

Looking for a room the size between the Salt River room and the McDowell room, expansion of the latter has been discussed for the past year.

The commission is also looking at an outside patio area behind the conference centre.

Despite the soft economy, lodging and food taxes were both up in October, as compared to those same months in 2010.

In fact, the lodging tax increased by nearly $7,000, one of the largest gains of the year.

Commissioner Jay Patel said the machine gun shoot was held, which always fills hotel rooms. Also, there were three conventions in the region for the month.

In other business:

*Tourism director Troy Beam said the Sunday sampling at wineries and Jim Beam seems to be going well. He felt the wineries are especially pleased with the Sunday provisions.

*Chairman Tom Kelly was concerned about who would be responsible for maintaining the improvements along Highway 245 when the beautification grant is completed.

Beam said Bernheim Forest has agreed to provide some maintenance but it can not put that into a written contract.

The maintenance period would be for 10 years but Kelly needed the commission’s authority to sign the documentation for the grant.

The commission approved Kelly’s signing of the contract.

Various agencies are part of the project to beautify the stretch of Highway 245 from I-65 to past Jim Beam Distillery. Some of that includes widening the road to five lanes.

The next meeting of the Shepherdsville-Bullitt County Tourist and Convention Commission will be on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 4:30 p.m. at Paroquet Springs Conference Centre. The public is invited to attend.