Finishing touches made on Fountain Avenue Project

Paducah has reinvested $12.75 million into the Fountain Avenue Project that started in 2009, which is $1.5 more than the city’s goal.

Sidewalks, curbs, and gutters are part of the final improvements for the project. At Tuesday’s Paducah City Commission meeting, Planning Director Steve Ervin asked for approval of a municipal order to apply for a Kentucky Transportation Alternatives Program grant of $736,646. The grant would also make some sidewalks handicap accessible.

Commissioners approved the municipal order to apply for the grant. The total cost of the project would be more than $920,000.

“Since we’re transitioning, now is a good time to take that project on,” Ervin said.

A selection process for the next neighborhood to revitalize should start in less than two months. Ervin said staff and the Urban Renewal and Community Development Agency (URCDA) is developing a set of criteria that can be used to evaluate the sustainability of the next neighborhood revitalization project. 

There isn’t a list of neighborhoods being considered yet, but Ervin said the URCDA will look at many neighborhoods within the city limits that could benefit from redevelopment efforts. 

Fountain Avenue’s Project helped bring 36 new home and a lot new neighbors, such as Bettye Lynch and her two dogs –Maddie and Lizzy.

“I believe I have more good neighbors here. It’s just like a small town,” Lynch said.

Considered a Fountain Avenue pioneer, her house is the 22nd to be improved. Lynch’s son fixed it for her.

“He bought this house from the city for a dollar,” Lynch said.

She’s been there for about six years, but it took until two years ago for the rundown houses next door to be redone.    

“I have seen so much progress. I was a little impatient with that,” Lynch said.

To date, the Fountain Avenue Project has helped 84 homes see an investment of more than $10,000 and 47 homes see an investment of over $50,000.

Volunteers also built a playground over the summer, and a bid for the first phase of the health park should go out in the next week.

“I really like it. I like the neighborhood,” Lynch said.

Those are improvements started by the city and built up by the community.

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