The old Daniel Boone Hotel building in Whitesburg could undergo a transformation very similar to the one that turned the old Jenkins High School building into senior apartments.
At the Whitesburg City Council’s February meeting Monday, Mayor James Wiley Craft told the council that AU Associates, the Lexington company that developed the Jenkins school, is apparently interested in a similar project in Whitesburg for the Daniel Boone Hotel.
Craft said Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward told him of AU’s interest after Ward attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at Jenkins School Apartments earlier Tuesday.
Craft said he would hope the project would be mindful of the building’s original purpose as a hotel, but said that other than what Ward told him, he has little other information at present. He said he would meet with Ward and representatives of AU Associates in the near future and report back to the council on any proposal.
Responding to a question from Councilman John Williams concerning the hotel, Paul Nesbitt of Nesbitt Engineering told the council the hotel renovation would be very expensive for the city to undertake, costing between $3.5 and $ 4 million. Nesbitt added that AU Associates had undertaken the transformation of another government-owned structure in Jackson and it had turned out very well.
Nesbitt also reported that his company has been working on finding solutions for several problems the city has in the area of water and sewer, and seeking funding for the work as well. He said he believes they are very near a solution for several city needs and that he has been working closely with Water Maintenance Director Chris Caudill to address them. Caudill did not attend the meeting due to a death in the family and Nesbitt said he hopes to have good news in the near future.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to allow the Mayking Volunteer Fire Department to hold a fundraising roadblock at all three city intersections on March 8.
Mayor Craft also praised the hard work and dedication of city street and water workers during the ongoing bitterly cold weather. Craft said street workers had come out early and worked long hours to keep streets safe and clean. Councilman Williams added that the city has experienced fewer problems with burst water lines than some surrounding ones and said when there have been problems city water workers have responded quickly and made repairs in a timely manner.
Council member Robin Bowen Watco added that the street workers are probably going to encounter another round of bad weather expected on Wednesday afternoon as a rare southern snowstorm pushes north into Kentucky.
Councilman James Bates also praised city office workers for putting the monthly council packets together.