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State gives second phase the go-ahead

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By Robin Bass

The City of Taylorsville has been approved by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to move forward with the second phase of the Main Street renovation project. Mayor Don Pay recently received a contract from the state that will allow the city to begin spending a $360,000 transportation enhancement grant awarded October 2008.

“This is what we were waiting for,” said Pay. “If we had not had to wait on the stimulus decision, we would probably be done by now.”

City officials had hoped that construction would have started last spring. Instead, the state delayed the process while trying to fund the project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. When the Main Street project was denied stimulus funds, the state went back to their original plans.

Pay said that Taylorsville was probably not the only community affected by such decisions. He said that many projects statewide were put on hold while trying to secure federal funds. Thirty-nine communities were awarded transportation enhancement grants in 2008 that equaled $18 million.

Main Street Committee Chairman John Shircliffe said the city can now move forward and hire engineering firm Sisler and Maggard to design the project. His hopes are that construction could begin late spring or early summer 2010.

Any funds spent on the renovation project – up to $360,000 – will be reimbursed by the grant. The second phase of the Main Street project has been estimated to cost $450,000 to renovate one city block between Main Cross and Jefferson Street. This figure does not include any inflation that may have incurred in the last year.

The remaining $90,000 – a 20 percent local match – has been agreed to be split between Taylorsville City Commissioners and Spencer County Fiscal Court.

The second phase of the downtown improvements will consist of relocating utility poles to the rear of residences and businesses along Main Street from Main Cross to Jefferson Street. It will also include replacing old, uneven sidewalks, and the addition of new street lights, benches, planters and landscaping – identical to those in phase I.

“The only thing the grant won’t cover is relocating the main trunk line,” said Shircliffe of the utility lines that follow along Main Cross.

Shircliffe said there are also plans to renovate the small parking lot near the town war memorial.