Danville-Boyle County, KY Tackles Two Key Infrastructure Projects
Infrastructure improvement efforts are helping the region smartly move forward.
Water is refreshing, and Danville received some refreshing news in 2017 that will help recruit more industry to the city: In April 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration approved a $980,000 grant to assist Danville in increasing water supply and pressure in the Corporate Drive industrial area off Lebanon Road. The city is providing matching funds for the overall $1.96 million project to construct additional water lines to serve companies doing business along the Corporate Drive/Lebanon Road/Perryville Road area.
“West of the Danville Bypass has seen strong development in recent times, and in order to best serve existing businesses and attract even more industry to our city, we need to establish a waterline loop with Corporate Drive being the ideal scenario,” says Earl Coffey, Danville city engineer. “Existing industries have questions about future water flow and pressure and availability, and this grant and Danville’s investment is an excellent opportunity to address those needs.”
The Corporate Drive waterline installation project is estimated to be completed by April 2018 and could eventually attract an additional $25 million-$30 million in corporate investment in that area. One of the key reasons for embarking upon a new waterline initiative is to provide water flow for fire protection to the industries, and another reason is to improve water pressure during peak demand periods.
“This is a key factor in Danville’s long-term growth and helps with our economic development plans to retain and attract industry,” Coffey says. “Water availability and service is a vital building block when dealing with industrial clients, and we are doing our best to meet their needs here in Danville.”
While new waterlines are important to the growth of Danville, another infrastructure improvement initiative occurring locally is a Boyle County Trails Project, whose goal is to establish a shared-use network of trails all across the county.
“Things really started rolling in 2012 with the formation of a Danville-Boyle County Trails Alliance, with an initial mission of connecting trails to several of our tourism attractions such as the Perryville Battlefield, Pioneer Playhouse and Wilderness Trace Distillery,” says Jennifer Kirchner, executive director of the Danville-Boyle County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Paved and natural trails are ideal ways to get people moving and expand outdoor recreation in Boyle County, and it will probably take 5-7 years [before] people will see all the connectivity in place.”
In the meantime, upcoming plans call for establishing a park on Lexington Avenue, securing easements for a mountain bike park, establishing a walkable and scenic 8-mile downtown loop, and establishing trails from Stanford Avenue to East Main Street and around Henson Pond. Already open is a three-mile 2168 connector trail that safely separates bikers and joggers from motorist traffic along Route 2168.
“Our master plan is to establish a network of trails that crisscross Boyle County and allow walkers and bikers to travel from downtown Danville to more rural areas of the county and back,” she says. “These pathways will not only get more people moving, but homeowner property values increase when they are close to trails.”
Besides health benefits for residents, Kirchner says that a Kentucky Department of Tourism study points out that outdoor recreation and tourism is a $12.8 billion industry in Kentucky, and adding and beautifying a network of trails in Boyle County can provide local economic benefits.
“This is a long-term project and we’re doing it in pieces, so whenever property easements come up or when road pavings are scheduled or when grants become available, the Trails Alliance gets involved to further this cause,” she says. “We aren’t looking to purchase parcels of people’s property who don’t want trails, but we are finding that many property owners in Boyle County are on board with this effort. It is a positive project that will increase the quality of life even more for our residents.”