Road closures expected during upcoming CVS construction

Builders of the new CVS Pharmacy said two alleys around the current Kentucky Bank in downtown Winchester will remain partially open during demolition and construction, something which was news to city leaders Tuesday.

CVS previously announced plans to purchase the Kentucky Bank site, remove the bank and replace it with a new building. The bank is building a new facility on Maple Street.

City leaders believed the two alleys, Wall Street and Odgen Street, would be totally closed for five months beginning May 1, based on the street closure request.

During Tuesday’s Winchester Board of Commissioners meeting, builder Mike Culbreath said the closure was never intended to be total, but the city’s street closure request form did not allow space for a partial closure.

Culbreath said at least one open lane would be maintained around the site, aside from temporary closures to move equipment. Work is expected to begin on the project in about three weeks, he said.

Several businesses would have been affected by a total closure. Steve Humble of Humble Plumbing, which is at the intersection of the two streets and receives a number of delivery trucks daily, said he was satisfied with the new explanation.

The commissioners weren’t satisfied, though, and voted to revisit the issue during the March 20 issue to allow additional time for property owners to be notified and additional documentation to be attached to the application.

Humble said he was told Friday it would be a total road closure of both streets, but was told Tuesday it would be partial.

City Commissioner Shannon Cox said Tuesday was the first time he was told it would be a partial closure as well.

Culbreath was concerned of the impact not closing the streets would have on construction, because the building will be very close to the property line and the roads.

“If the answer comes back we can’t close the alley, I can’t build the building,” Culbreath said. “We followed the procedure you had in place. I can’t remember the last time I closed a street totally.”

In other action, the commissioners:

— heard a presentation from Industrial Development Director Todd Denham about a proposal to create opportunity zones around downtown Winchester to encourage reinvestment.

— approved a request from Winchester Fire-EMS to use $80,000 of a $100,000 grant to finish concrete and site work for the new training tower at Station 3.

— approved an agreement to install signs recognizing Korean War veterans at places where the 38th parallel crosses public roads in Winchester. The cost would be $6,000 and the Clark County Fiscal Court will be asked to split the cost.

— approved a request to partially fund a proposal for an accounting firm to handle finances and payroll for Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation.

— approved a street closure request for the Rally4Recovery.

— approved the first reading of a budget amendment to add $630,000 in grant funds to the city budget.

— approved an order to reimburse Kentucky Bank $2,940 for sidewalk replacement.

— awarded two bids for equipment for Winchester Fire-EMS.

— approved the termination of Austin B. Smithson as a patient transfer specialist.

— approved the promotion of Daryl B. Snyder from firefighter III/EMT to lieutenant/EMT at Winchester Fire-EMS.

— approved an addition to the city’s social media policy for employees.