Barnwell donates painting

Robert Barnwell’s late wife Kathy surprised him a few years back with commissioned paintings of major building projects he played a part in — the Bellefontaine Municipal Building, the Knowlton Library and his home.


Robert Barnwell presented this watercolor rendition of the Bellefontaine Municipal Building by Cassie Hassel to the city Tuesday evening. It had been commissioned by his late wife, Kathy. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

“I guess it was her way of honoring me,” he said outside the city council chambers Tuesday night. “So I’m giving the painting of the municipal building to the city and the one of the library to the library in honor of her.

“I’ll keep the one of the house for myself.”

Mrs. Barnwell, a former teacher, died in 2011 at the age of 76. The couple had been married 55 years.

During that time, Mr. Barnwell served six terms on council in the early 1970s, and according to Law Director Howard Traul II, he was an archetypal finance chairman and set a high standard for those who followed.

Construction on the municipal building began in 1974.

Mr. Barnwell has continued to volunteer in the community, remaining active with the Logan County District Libraries and the Holland Theatre.

He was with the library’s board of directors when Knowlton Library was constructed in the 1990s.

The commissioned works were painted by Cassie Hassel of Bellefontaine.

In regular business, Mayor Adam Brannon reported the Simon Kenton Pathfinders are just $16,000 short of its $300,000 goal for the Urbana-to-Bellefontaine bicycle path extension. State funding sources are providing $500,000 toward the $800,000 project which will utilize an abandoned railroad line.

Mr. Traul reported the city continues to negotiate with Robinson Investments over a half-acre section of Henry Street which would connect to the back side of AcuSport Corp.’s $12 million expansion project.

AcuSport, a wholesaler for the shooting sports and firearms industry, wants the abandoned roadway reclaimed for public use so it can be extended to the rear of its property. It would be used for incoming truck deliveries of merchandise.

Mr. Traul asked the council to table once again an ordinance allowing eminent domain proceedings to move ahead.

“It should be much clearer in two weeks,” he said.

Council members tabled it once again.

Police Chief Brandon Standley said his department and the Logan County Sheriff’s Office will host a free training session for people who sell alcohol.

It will focus on the issue of overselling, he said.

Any establishment, including fraternal organizations, with a liquor license can send employees to one of two training sessions, he said.

A date and training times have yet to be announced.

The council next meets at 7:30 p.m. March 25.