Performers are used to having disasters on stage. It’s rarer for the disaster to take place with the stage itself. 

The City of Burnside is working to rebuild its new performance venue at Cole Park, the Don Franklin Performance Stage. after it was recently taken down by strong winds.

Burnside Tourism Director Frank Crabtree, Jr. addressed the repairs at the December meeting of the Burnside City Council this week.

“It just fell over because it wasn’t braced (properly),” Crabtree told the Commonwealth Journal. 

Indeed, volunteer work had been done on the stage the previous day, back in late November. But not everything had been able to be completed by the time the weather brought in powerful gusts of wind, and the structure essentially collapsed.

“The positive way to look at it is that it’s a chance to change the design and rebuild it from the ground up,” said Crabtree.

The roof structure for the stage was being built on the back end of the newly-created parking lot beside City Hall. The makeshift stage set up in Burnside’s Cole Park for the “Thunder Over the Island” Labor Day event back in September served its purpose, but with the city looking at holding more such events there in the future, Burnside was hoping for a more permanent facility.

Crabtree, who has experience in construction, said that it will likely cost about $3,000 all told to rebuild the structure, with most of that allocated out of the city’s tourism budget. That includes both labor and material, which will utilize pre-engineered trusses, with a calculated weight load.

“I’ve never built something without engineered trusses,” said Crabtree, “because they’re engineered to be stronger and lighter.”

Burnside Mayor Robert Lawson said the work would be done “in the near future.”

In other Burnside City Council business: 

 • Lawson reported Cleary Construction out of Tompkinsville, Ky., has now replaced both water pumps serving the city’s water plant. Lawson had previously noted that one of the pumps was out of use, and both were 30 years old, so it felt like the right time to go ahead and change both, said Lawson. Now, both are operational and are “working great,” he said.

• The bit of property off of East French Avenue in need of cleaning up — a lt known as “the old Boy Scout Property” and referred to in many meetings over the years — finally officially belongs to the City of Burnside. “We can start cleaning it up next spring,” said Lawson, who noted that the city is looking at putting a maintenance building and possibly some storage structures there.

“We’ve had it surveyed, we just need to go over and look at the area to see if it’s feasible to put a building on it,” said Lawson.

• Pulaski citizen George Flynn was given a ceremonial key to the city for all the volunteer work he’s done to help the city, of which he is “a friend,” noted Lawson. Also receiving keys to the city were outgoing city councilors Mike Lynn and Brandon Becker.

• the council passed Resolution 2020-006 making Cole Park Drive an actual city street, so that the city can maintain it and apply for discretionary funds for maintenance on it. They also passed Resolution-007 to accept discretionary funds from the state Transportation Cabinet to blacktop CLiffside Drive, Summit Avenue, and Central Avenue. 

• Burnside Fire Chief James Martin was recognized for becoming certified to teach fire training.

• The council considered a request by Burnside Little League President Danny Bray to put in a community center and indoor batting cages at Cole Park, likely in place of the old tennis courts. Lawson said they’d meet for a work session in January to figure out a long-term lease agreement that’s feasible for both the city and the Little League organization.

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