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August 12, 2010 Issue

First day goodbyes...
Boards set millage rates for county
Gatherings opens in downtown Louisville

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First day goodbyes...

Moms and dads give last kisses and hugs and wipe away tears Monday at area elementary schools as pre-K students go to “big” school for the first time. (Clockwise from above) Malana Jayne Moore holds on tight to her mother’s, Alice Ann Moore’s, leg. DeMarion Burke leans over so his mom, Shundrekia Tukes can give him one last kiss for luck. Preston Prescott tells his daughter Graci that everything is going to be OK while Reyna Castro wipes away her tears. Clifford Farmer sits a little longer with his son Devin. (See more pictures on page 6A)


Boards set millage rates for county

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

In separate meetings Tuesday, Aug. 10, the Jefferson County Board of Education and the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners set the millage rate.

School superintendent Dr. Molly Howard recommended the board keep the current millage rate of 13.764. That recommendation passed unanimously.


After the vote, a letter was signed by the members verifying the rate. That letter was hand-delivered to the commission who could not vote on the county’s millage rate until after the school board had set their millage rate.

The county’s rate includes not only the school board’s rate but a portion of a mill designated for economic development.

The commissioners accepted the board of education’s rate and set the county’s at 12.75 with .75 mills for economic development.

The state’s portion of the rate is .25, bringing a total millage rate of 26.764.

The value of a mill for the county is $432,639. It was $436,415 last year, which was an increase at that time.

The millage rate for the school board will be $428,769.

During the commission meeting, county administrator Paul Bryan told the commissioners the roll back also went down by .02 percent.

“In true dollars, our millage rate went down,” he said.

Commissioner Tommy New asked Bryan, “How much less are we going to collect than last year?”

Bryan said it would be about $48,000 less.

New made a motion to accept the total millage rate at 26.764, which was seconded and approved.

This rate will affect this year’s bills, Bryan said in an interview after the meeting.

“It will be for the bills that will be sent out this fall,” he said.

“The typical homeowner should see a slight decrease if their value is the same as it was last year.”

Gatherings opens in downtown Louisville

By Jared Stepp

Current owner of the Bookworm in downtown Louisville, Margaret Newberry has opened another business just two doors down.

The new business, called Gatherings, is a large, open space available to anyone to rent for events. The main room is about 30 feet by 75 feet and has two bathrooms and a catering kitchen. A 12-foot deck is also available at rear of the building.


Newberry said the idea came from her and her husband, Bill Newberry, in February when they decided they would like to purchase the building as an investment. Of what kind of investment, however, they were unsure.

“We had no idea what to do with it,” said Newberry. “We wanted something that didn’t take a day-to-day management but fit a need in the community.”

After asking friends and other people around town, a meeting or reception hall was decided as the best idea. She said she also had offers to put in a church or business, but she decided a place to hold events was what the town needed.

“With the Magnolia House no longer being available we thought it would be a good idea,” Newberry said.

Not much later, construction began on the building.

“Merv Unruh Construction completely did the building. When we told him when the first booking was he sped up and got it done,” she laughed. “We did try to see how much of the original we could restore.”

They restored the original heart pine floor and the original acoustical ceiling tiles. The plaster walls were repaired and painted, also with new wiring for electrical usage. Central heating was put in the building for the first time. In the back of the building a catering kitchen was built. A gallery wiring track for hanging pictures and paintings circles the entire room. The kitchen has a stove, refrigerator, warmer and many other regular kitchen appliances for caterers at events. Two bathrooms were restored, including one with handicapped access.

The first event, a meeting of the Regional Water Planning Council, took place at Gatherings on Tuesday, June 22. Newberry said feedback about the building from the event was all positive. Tom Jordan, Executive Director Development Authority of Jefferson County, said it was ideal for the meeting to break in the new building, adding it provided great exposure for the business around all the regions represented at the meeting.

“It was perfect, just perfect. Size and accommodations were all great,” Jordan said. “It was comfortable, the acoustics worked very well for meetings.”

She said balancing overseeing both the Bookworm and Gatherings would not be a problem. Setting up an event is fairly easy, just requiring a phone call and schedule balancing. At press time, Newberry had three more bookings already scheduled, a meeting, birthday party and a family reunion.

Gatherings is open to a variety of events like birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, business meetings, small concerts, receptions and more. She said a small wedding would even be possible if there was interest. She said she is most looking forward to the opportunities of Christmas parties.

Gatherings, located at 120 West Broad St., is owned and operated by Margaret and Bill Newberry. To setup an event, call either 478-625-9957, 478-625-0178, 770-861-8742 or 678-316-8582.

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Last modified: August 11, 2010