If the funding is approved, Williamsburg could soon have new sidewalks and street lights as part of a downtown revitalization project, in addition to upgrading water and sewer lines and two new parks.
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison announced plans for the initiatives during Monday night’s monthly city council meeting.
Harrison said city officials are applying for a downtown revitalization grant that would put in the new sidewalks, install old style street lights, and bury electric lines underground.
He said if everything goes right, the project would be done at the same time as installation for new water and sewer lines, which will replace the aging ones already in place.
Harrison said the city hasn’t been able to get a cost estimate from Kentucky Utilities yet on the cost of moving electric lines because their engineers have been busy in Indiana.
The city council also discussed a proposal to turn the old city pool into a playground, and to build a new park on Cumberland Avenue near the senior citizens apartments.
Harrison said the city is trying to obtain a water and conservation grant to turn the old pool into a playground area.
The total cost of the project would be $87,000, and the city would be required to pay 50 percent of the cost.
Clay McKnight, a planner with the Cumberland Valley Area Development District, said the city’s 50 percent match can be in the form of labor and use of equipment to build the park.
Williamsburg Tourism Director Alvin Sharpe said the $87,000 figure includes new fencing, playground equipment, and renovations to the restrooms.
“It’s not only going to benefit the swimming pool area, but it is also going to benefit people who are using the baseball field. It is going to be an excellent situation for both groups,” Sharpe said.
City officials already have put about $8,000 worth of work and materials into the project, Sharpe added.
The old city pool shut down in 1999, a year prior to the opening of the Hal Rogers Family Entertainment Center.
The Bill H. Woods Downtown Park is being named in honor of Bill Woods, a long-time Williamsburg resident, who worked at several businesses in downtown Williamsburg over his life, including: Maiden Drug, two clothing stores, and a movie theater.
“Bill Woods has been a permanent fixture on Main Street, and he worked on Main Street for over 70 years. Anybody, who has done anything on Main Street, knows who Bill Woods is. He has just been someone, who has dedicated his life to working on Main Street, and I just thought it would be fitting to name something in his honor close to Main Street. He’s been a big part of this town. I just think it is the right thing to do,” Harrison said.
Harrison said the park won’t have picnic tables or playground equipment, but will instead have a fountain area, and benches where people could go to read or relax.
The city council approved a resolution Monday night creating two committees that would work on the project, and raise money for it.
The city council also discussed a possible new program to plant wildflowers near the intersections on Exit 11.
Councilman Paul Estes said he has talked with former mayor Bill Nighbert, who now works in Frankfort, about getting money to plant the wildflowers, like some states down south have done.
Estes said city officials are hoping to work out an agreement where the state will provide the seeds and materials, and the city will do the labor on the project. “It would be a pilot project in Kentucky. We would be the only interchange to have it in Kentucky,” Estes noted.
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