About $14,000 has been spent recently sprucing up downtown Williamsburg thanks in large part to the Williamsburg Main Street program and local governments.
"I think that it has helped make you want to come downtown and see us," said Williamsburg Main Street Manager Nannie Hays. "It is something that people used to do every Saturday. The courthouse square was full of people sitting around and talking. It is just a nice way to enjoy what is going on."
Hays said that she was able to get a very good deal on 16 new flower pots through Overstock.com, which were purchased for $40 each or about $640.
"Thanks to Wal-Mart, which donated the flowers for the flower pots," Hays added. "We try to run everything on a shoe string and save money for things. I think they look very nice with what we have got."
The downtown businesses, which have the flowerpots in front of them, are taking care of the flowers on a daily basis.
"They have agreed to water and take care of them, and they are doing an excellent job of it," Hays said. "We might have some flower wars downtown. They are starting to Miracle Grow them, and saying, ‘mine looks better than yours,’ which is good. Everybody is taking pride in it."
The Williamsburg Main Street program also recently purchased six park benches and the city purchased four additional benches that were placed along Main Street.
The benches match what had already been installed at Bill Woods Park, which are black, wrought iron benches.
"We have a couple more requests from some people downtown that they would like to have one on their block," Hays said. "I don’t think there is any way this year we can do it, but if I can get another grant next year, we may try to add a couple more park benches."
The 10 new garbage cans and 10 cigarette receptacles were purchased with help from the Whitley County Fiscal Court’s Liter Abatement Program.
An additional five cigarette receptacles were bought with funding from the city.
"I tried to find something to match and blend with what we already had," Hays said.
Last June, the Williamsburg Main Street program received a $10,000 grant through the Southern and Eastern Kentucky
Tourism Development Association, which helped pay for part of the project.
Williamsburg isn’t the only local town working to spruce up its downtown.
The Corbin Main Street program recently spent about $6,000 on four large planters and 36 smaller ones that were placed downtown.
The Corbin Main Street program also spent about $3,000 for four new park benches.
The remainder of the budgeted $10,000 will be used to buy watering cans for Corbin businesses in hopes they will water the new plants, officials said.