Mural moratorium gets first reading amid heated debate

City Commissioner Katrisha Waldridge reacts while discussing the possible moratorium that could be placed on mural work during a city commission meeting Wednesday. (Hannah Brown | State Journal)

After a lengthy stumble, city commissioners are putting one foot in front of the other in naming a trail that connects downtown Frankfort and Kentucky State University.

The city commission recently voted 5-0 to name a portion of the Old Pinsly Trail the “Thorobred Trail.” However, it isn’t the first time the board has unanimously agreed on a name for the trail connecting East Main Street, near the KSU campus, to downtown Frankfort.

The moniker debate came to a head at the beginning of spring. The commission had voted unanimously at the end of February to call the trail “The Bourbon Road Rail Trail.” However, commissioners got cold feet and rescinded their votes weeks later after KSU representatives expressed objections about a name that ties alcohol to the university.

Commissioner Katrisha Waldridge called for the vote to be rescinded in March and further explained the move at the city’s recent meeting.

“After it was named, there was a lot of community conversations and disagreement,” Waldridge told commissioners. “It’s been some time ago, so I’d like to make a motion to name the trail … Thorobred Trail.”

At the time of the vote to rescind the name, Commissioner Eric Whisman was the lone dissenting vote, defending the original choice. He sat in on a naming committee leading up to the declaration and said the intent was to split trail in half and name the part on KSU’s property “Thorobred Trail” while the city-owned portions would be called “The Bourbon Road Rail Trail” in order to reflect interests of the entire city.

While he had been against rescinding the name, Whisman voted in favor of the most recent change, adding that the city should look beyond just a connection with KSU in its plans.

“I think we have a great opportunity for a lot of economic development potential to improve that trail even further,” Whisman said. “We need to look at that as well, beyond just the connection with KSU.”

Commissioners unanimously approved to name the portion of the trail near KSU’s campus “Thorobred Trail,” but the lower portion of the trail toward downtown remains without an official name. The board discussed maintaining two names on the trail so that first responders can know which area of the trail to respond to in case of an emergency. They also discussed markers to further pinpoint emergency responses.

"Emergency Management is looking at putting markers along the trail that would delineate certain mile markers in tenths of miles, so if someone called for an emergency service they could say they're at 1.2 — something to that effect," Mayor Bill May said. "In order to make it safer."

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