J-town Pays Firm to Find Its Way

Jeffersontown’s City Council voted this week to spend $70,000 to do a study of its marketing efforts, recommend wayfinding strategy and possibly come up with a new name for the Bluegrass Industrial Park.

The decision was OK’d by five of the Council members. Pam Ware and Bill Dieruf were opposed, as was Ray Perkins, who wasn’t at Monday’s meeting.

Dieruf, who’s actively campaigning for Mayor Clay Foreman’s job, said the expense is unnecessary because the Mayor and his economic development team should be doing the city’s marketing.

“It’s easier for the Mayor to get somebody else to do it than to do it himself,” said Dieruf, who operates a hardware store on Taylorsville Road. “In good times, you hire somebody to sweep the streets. In hard times, you sweep the streets yourself.”

Dieruf added that the money only goes to fund a study — and the city may not have the money to implement its recommendations. He compared that to getting blueprints for a house and not building it.

Foreman presented the plan from the New West Agency, which won the business in competition with dozens of others firms. New West’s Tom Howell said the city has a bigger story to tell than the image it currently projects.

“This is a branding and wayfinding plan to more closely align the city with all the features that it offers,” he said, mentioning the city’s restaurants, businesses, and jobs.

Immediately, New West will begin interviews with officials and residents and will set up a website for residents to contribute ideas. New West, the agency that selected the Unbridled Spirit slogan for the state of Kentucky, will use some of the same techniques for Jeffersontown, on a smaller scale. One idea is to change the name of the Industrial Park.

“The first thing we have to do is find out what kind of brand equity Bluegrass Industrial Park has,” Howell said.