Changes coming to Paintsville

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

Officials with one Eastern Kentucky city say they are making progress when it comes to revitalizing their city.

Paintsville City officials say it is time to make new plans for their city.

"I think we have one from the 60s, one from the 70s and one from the 80s and they were on the shelf gathering dust," said Mayor Bob Porter.

Mayor Bob Porter says through a ten thousand dollar grant, the city drafted a new main street economic development plan, gathering input from local business owners and those who live in the city.

"I felt like this was the time. This was the time, you, know,
this building has set here probably twelve, fourteen years, empty deteriorating," said business owner Linda Blackburn.

Blackburn grew up in Johnson County and recently opened a vendor mall and says she remembers the days when the building she is in was a thriving C.G. Murphy's Five and Dime. She and other investors say they feel now is the time to breathe new life into their city.

"Without businesses like ours and the mall and the other businesses that are going in, downtown would be a ghost town and we don't want to see that. We want to see it how it used to be," said vendor George Ramey.

That is why the new plans call for renovating historical buildings like the Sipp Theatre and improving the street scape. And for current business owners like Debra Branham, the plans are encouraging.

"The town was dying and just, luckily, or fortunately got together a group of people that are interested in bringing it back. And it's worked real well," she said.

She says she looks forward to even more changes.

Mayor Porter says a deadline for the plans are not set in stone because city officials are looking for additional funding. But he says immediate changes include revamping the city parking lot and adding murals to buildings.

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