The City of Pineville is about to see a dream project become a reality. Governor Andy Beshear announced on Friday, July 10, the approval of two project loans from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), which is attached to the Department for Local Government (DLG), for wastewater and sewer system improvements in the cities of Bedford and Pineville.
“Every city and county in Kentucky should have reliable wastewater and sewer systems” said Gov. Beshear. “I’m glad these two cities can make necessary updates and provide more reliable service to their communities.”
DLG Commissioner and Chair of the KIA Board Dennis Keene mentioned how important these projects are to improving local communities.
“Our purpose is to provide resources to local governments so they can better serve everyone in the commonwealth,” said Commissioner Keene. “With today’s projects we are helping provide reliable service to more than 1,000 Kentuckians.”
The City of Pineville was approved for a $2,454,000 Fund. A loan for the Virginia Avenue/Courthouse Square Utility Replacements project. The city will use the funding to separate the existing storm and sanitary sewer systems in the area surrounding the Courthouse, serving 802 customers.
Upon completion, the city will construct and install approximately 4,430 linear feet of gravity sewer line and 4,088 linear feet of storm sewers, new storm sewer inlets, new curb and gutters and will replace existing sidewalks.
“This is phase three of the Utilities Separation/Replacement project that we are under an EPA consent decree to complete,” said Pineville Utilities Commission Superintendent, Robert Roan. “The KIA loan is the imperative piece of funding we had to have to move forward on this mandatory project.”
“We are excited to get this project moving after years of hard work,” said Mayor Scott Madon. “It’s especially satisfying and gratifying during these tough times and we really appreciate Gov. Beshear and everyone at DLG and KIA for their help making this project happen.”
The entire project comes with a price tag of over $5 million dollars and encompasses the complete overhaul and improvements of infrastructure and streetscape design on the historic Courthouse Square. This includes the burial of overhead utility lines, replacement of sidewalks, new street lighting and flowers, patio seating, public WiFi and a downtown sound system.
The loan approved by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority last week will fund the utilities portion of the project on Laurel Street, Oak Street, Walnut Street, Pine Street, Virginia Avenue and Kentucky Avenue on the Courthouse Square. Many other sources of funding, including federal and state grants from the Community Development Block Grant fund program and the Appalachian Regional Commission, will fund the remaining utilities replacement and streetscape improvements of the project. Complete budget information will be published by the city once the project has been bid and specs are complete.
Main Street Pineville Director Jacob Roan said, “The renovation of the entire Courthouse Square has been our top priority since I took this position in 2013 and since Mayor Madon took office in 2015. Property owners on the Square have stepped up to the plate as they have renovated their properties and filled them with sustainable businesses. Now it is our turn to complete the transformation with the necessary infrastructure and streetscape upgrades.”
In June the Pineville City Council passed an ordinance identifying the historic Courthouse Square district as an Entertainment Destination Center which is now at the state level for approval. “With the combination of the designation of an Entertainment Destination Center in our downtown and this project being funded, we will now have the pieces in line to attract thousands of visitors to downtown Pineville in any given week.”
Mayor Madon and Jacob Roan discussed opportunities for community involvement with the project.
“Main Street and the city held community forums several years ago and a lot of these plans are derived from those public comments,” said Madon. “We will be working with the design engineers to schedule a town meeting where we hope to give the community a few options to actually choose street lamp models and other items.”
Roan added, “Main Street Pineville continues to present the public with opportunities to be involved in the decision making of our key projects downtown. This project has been at the forefront of every public meeting over the past six years. It is satisfying to know that Main Street’s involvement has helped to make this a true community project.”
The City of Pineville and Main Street Pineville have worked with downtown property owners to revitalize Pineville’s downtown and their work has not gone unnoticed. Mayor Madon was presented with a statewide leadership award in 2017 and Main Street Pineville has received six statewide awards since 2014. Upon the project’s completion, Roan says that the Main Street program intends to work with the Kentucky Main Street program to apply for the prestigious Great American Main Street Award.
Kentucky Main Street State Coordinator Kitty Dougoud congratulated Pineville on the funding of the project by saying, “We are so excited to see this project finally come to fruition in downtown Pineville. Over the last 7 years I have had a front row seat to the transformation of this community as they have worked closely with Kentucky Main Street and the Kentucky Heritage Council. I have seen the community become engaged and enthusiastic about projects, their own properties, and watched businesses open, expand, and grow. Great partnerships have been formed with other entities and agencies to create an economically vibrant community. Pineville serves as a model for others and demonstrates how great things happen when you build a strong team working towards the same goal.”
With businesses recently being closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, city officials are committed to helping businesses stay open through construction.
Mayor Madon said, “Jacob and I are going to be working with each individual business owner and I trust that we will develop some innovative and exciting ways to accommodate business traffic.”
City leaders state that a timeline for the project is not yet finalized but they do intend on seeing the completion of the project in 2021.