Salyersville group takes aim at economic development

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - An Eastern Kentucky town still recovering from a devastating tornado more than one year ago is continuing to move forward.

Some folks in Salyersville created a committee to build up the downtown area, and they hope it will help them build back bigger and better following the March 2012 tornado.

They have spent more than 16 months rebuilding their town after an EF-3 tornado tore it apart, and now some folks are taking it a step further.

"We've got the new trail and there's going to be a lot of people coming in for that, and we just feel that right now is the time to strike while the iron is hot," said City Councilman Jeff Ross.

A six-member committee called the Downtown Beautification and Economic Enhancement Council is banding together to build back even better.

"We're just trying to capitalize on it and make our town more inviting sort of like Somerset, KY," said Ross.

Committee members say they want to turn a piece of property across from the downtown post office into an amphitheater to hopefully bring in performers and draw in other people into the city to see those performers.

"We have a lot of talent in this county, and we just really feel like it's not being utilized the way it should be," said Committee Member Beneita Patrick.

A $12,500 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission is jump-starting their efforts.

"The place is really looking better so we're hoping just to add to it through the amphitheatre and the people that's really interested in it and really sees the need for it in our county," said Patrick.

Council members hope to start construction on the amphitheater in the coming months using bricks from the old courthouse.

They also plan to bury the power lines in the downtown area.

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