Fall Festival and Saturday night cruise-in among fall events planned by EDBA

By Rozella Hardin

   The Elizabethton Downtown Business Association is gearing up for two fall events -- a cruise-in downtown on Saturday, Sept. 20, and a Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 25.
   The EDBA was host Friday evening to the Carter County Car Club, which staged an antique car show in the downtown, with a number of the stores staying open for the event.
   David Ornduff, City Planner, said the Elk Avenue Bridge will be closed for another 3-1/2 months, and that City staff is currently working on placing signage on Sycamore Street and Broad Street, directing traffic to the downtown business district while the bridge remains closed.
   As far as the rehabilitative work on the Covered Bridge, Ornduff said the city is awaiting an environmental impact report, and as soon as it is received, the project will be put up for bid. The rehabilitative work on the bridge will include new anchor plates, new steel plates, new approaches, new lighting, new pigeon nests, new railings, and a new paint job. "When the work is completed, the bridge will be like new, except it will retain the same character and beauty," Ornduff said.
   He also said his office is working on bid specifications for taking the Bradford pear trees down on Elk Avenue.
   It was noted that some opposition had been expressed to taking the trees down, most notably a Letter to the Editor, appearing in the Elizabethton STAR this past week. "We want the public to know that this is not an arbitrary move, but is necessary due to the trees being diseased," said EDBA President John Bunn.
   Ornduff noted that when the trees were planted, they were supposed to be miniature Bradford pears, but they were not. Thus, their growth has caused some problems and they have been difficult to maintain. Also, it was noted that only four of the trees have been deemed healthy. Others have fallen or have had large limbs fall -- this spring on a car. The trees will be replaced with smaller trees. "It is a positive change," emphasized Bunn.
   An executive committee, composed of officers of EDBA and block captains, was approved to set policy as for payment of bills. The committee will meet August 8 at 8 a.m. at The Coffee Company.
   The group also briefly discussed street banners for the downtown. One model presented to the city by Yvonne Morgan of Clothier on Elk, Inc., depicted a Fraser fir. She said prices submitted by Tennessee Flag Company of Johnson City put the cost at approximately $91.70 for each banner, which included mounting hardware.
   The matter was referred to the Beautification Committee for further study.
   The Association voted to join the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce to give the Carter County Car Club $200 -- $100 each -- to be given away in prizes at Friday night's car show.
   Ron McCloud, local merchant and a member of the Car Club, said Carter County Ford had indicated interest in sponsoring future events.
   "I really feel good about what we are doing. Anytime we can bring people downtown, it will be great," said Bunn.
   The EDBA will meet again Sept. 5 at 8 a.m. at The Coffee Company, and those in attendance were urged to bring another downtown business owner with them.