Commission award retail grant, considers long-term strategic plan

Published 3:52 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Winchester’s future was on the agenda during last Tuesday’s city commission meeting, including a retail kickstart grant and a long-term strategic plan.

An order approving funding for a retail kickstart grant from the Downtown Development Investment Fund (DDIF) was unanimously approved.

“The DDIF program is a fantastic program, and we’re lucky to have it, but our grants can only work as hard as the people work for them,” said Commissioner Hannah Toole. “I would like to just encourage our community to rally around those businesses that are receiving it.”

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The grant was requested by Chad Walker, co-owner of Engine House Pizza Pub, which is located at 9 West Lexington Avenue.

Walker received a $1,000 check and hopes to benefit Clark County Animal Shelter through a fundraiser.

“The way we did it is we want to utilize the grant to benefit somebody else,” he said. “That’s what we used the money for is buying t-shirts [that] will ultimately benefit 100% of the Clark County Animal Shelter.”

More information about the fundraiser is available on Engine House’s Facebook page.

The commission also focused on Winchester’s on whether to focus on a strategic or work plan.

While the former can be categorized as outlining longer-term goals and deciding how an organization will ultimately obtain its mission, the latter prioritizes functioning alongside a strategic plan while ensuring that daily duties are being accomplished.

Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed spoke on the matter.

“I’m proposing that we just go with a work plan for right now,” she said. “It’s simpler. We need to be able to put some goals down [and] some objectives…whether we’ve done what we’ve said we’re going to do.”

The city commission will look to collaborate with the Kentucky League of Cities for further consideration.

George Rogers Clark  High School student Claire Martin was recognized by the commission for being named Distinguished Young Woman of Kentucky. She will represent the state in a national competition later this year.

Specifically, the city of Winchester provided her with a service award that Mayor Reed presented.

“You’ve distinguished yourself within this community. You’ve made us proud of what you do,” Reed said. “For [having] the courage to get up on the stage and do what you did is unbelievable.”

In other news, a new streetlight will be installed on an existing pole at 21 Lee Street. The motion approving the installation passed unanimously.