City to discuss Lincoln St. project Monday

Residents of Lincoln Street will have the chance to ask questions Monday night and learn more about a possible project to renovate and improve their street.

The Winchester Board of Commissioners will have a special meeting at 6 p.m Monday at Shearer Elementary School, 244 E. Broadway St. Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said the meeting will function as a public hearing concerning the proposed project.

In April, the city hired a consultant to begin preparing a community development block grant application on behalf of the Urban Renewal Board. The goal, Burtner said at the time, would be to replace the current structures with safe, low- to moderate-income housing.

If successful, the city could receive up to $1 million for the project, though it could easily cost more. Burtner said there water and sewer lines might need to be upgraded and the street itself would need to be widened.

The CDBG would also cover relocation benefits for current residents, property acquisition and demolition.

If approved, the project could involve up to 30 properties along the street. Abandoned property would have to be obtained through eminent domain.

“We really want an opportunity to explain to the residents what’s proposed,” Burtner said. “I think we need to do a project on Lincoln Street.”

The CDBG uses federal funds but is administered by state officials, Burtner said. The amount of the grant often depends on how much is matched locally, he said. The city has not budgeted any funds for the project, he said.

“We’ll have the public hearing, assess where we are and answer as many questions as we can,” Burtner said.

The city commission is scheduled to discuss the project during its July 18 meeting and decide whether to move ahead or wait for another budget cycle, he said.

The application deadline is Aug. 1.

Past projects have focused on the Poynterville community, he said, and officials want to shift the focus to other areas, he said.

Lincoln Street would likely be widened to become a two-way street in the project.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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