Rating The Renaissance

Patton impressed with
Carrollton’s progress in Renaissance Project

Ben Fronczek
Staff Writer

(September 2001) Carrollton, Ky – Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton was all smiles as he walked down Carrollton’s Main Street on Aug. 16. City officials and members of the town’s Main Street Program joined him as he admired the buildings on the street’s north side. He stopped in front of the building where the New Image Beauty Shop now sits. Local preservationist Jim Richey was putting the finishing touches on restoring the building to its original state. Patton stepped in the building, then stepped back out and spoke.

Paul Patton

“This Renaissance program is just about the best thing we’ve done. I’m really impressed.”
Since 1997, the Patton administration has been helping cities all over Kentucky revitalize their downtown structures and streetscapes through the Kentucky Renaissance Program. Through this plan, the state has allocated $22 million toward downtown revitalization projects in 72 Kentucky cities this year alone. Carrollton is one of these cities and has been actively working to improve its building facades and streetscapes since the spring of 2000.
The project has been divided into phases, depending on the amounts allocated to Carrollton from the state. The state awarded Carrollton $472,830 and the city and county funded an additional $142,726. These monies went toward what became known as Phase I. Improvements included the installation of new streetlights and sidewalks around the Courthouse square and work burying utility cables in the area.
According to Mayor Ann Deatherage, just a single streetlight cost $3,900. Phase I was completed last February.
Phase II is currently in progress and has been for the majority of the year. The state awarded $311,874 for use in improving sidewalks on West Main Street between Second and Fifth streets. In May, when sidewalk improvements began on the street’s south side, a retaining wall started to crumble when the old sidewalk was being taken out. This wall had been made of creek rock and filled in by sand and gravel. The sand running out caused this wall to lose its support, running deeper into the ground. Reconstructing the wall has put a hold on the south side sidewalk improvements.
Recently, the city council drew up a plan to build a new concrete retaining wall. Bids for the project were due back to the council by 2 p.m. on Aug. 27. The city council had been discussing options for months but was challenged with objections from private landowners on the south side of Main Street. The city’s property only goes so far south before meeting private property. That border occurs near the sidewalk.
“We’re going to stay within the boundaries of the city,” said Deatherage. “Basically we’re hoping to replace the sidewalk exactly where it is now.” The sidewalk does not cross to private property, but proposed options had it and the neighboring wall crossing over three to five feet.
Joseph Graves, executive director of the Carroll County Community Development Corp., is facilitating the progress of the Renaissance project and expects another month of work on Phase II after the sidewalk construction is completed.
For Phase III, a total of $177,500 was awarded by the state. According to Graves, $100,000 of that amount will go toward streetscape improvements. Another $62,500 is being used for facade improvements and to match the state funding, as required. The remaining $15,000 of that amount goes to management support for Carrollton’s Main Street Program.
“We were very fortunate to get $100,000,” said Graves. “There are so many communities involved and only so much money.”
Patton was so impressed with Carrollton’s progress that he told those present he would try to come up with more funding for cities like Carrollton.
“We’ve been talking about the challenges of budget, but we have to keep this Renaissance program,” he said. “There are towns out there that haven’t come as far as you have.”

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