OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Owensboro officials are planning improvements for a specific part of the city. They’re focusing on revitalizing the northwest part of town.
Some people in northwest Owensboro were improving their front yard. Others say there are bigger things that need work.
“They need to do something with the vacant, dilapidated housing and property,” says Walter Butler, who lives in northwest Owensboro.
“There are some houses that are falling down,” adds Louis Conder of Owensboro.
Community Development Director Abby Shelton says they’ve set a map for redevelopment, spanning from Walnut Street to Ewing Road, and going as far south as West 5th Street. The city has already started discussions with neighbors. Shelton says the goal is to have a total of four million dollars in public grants and private investment to improve existing homes and businesses, and add more affordable homes.
“Our end goal is to decrease the rate of vacant properties in that area, to increase property to the point where we’re not pushing people out of their homes, that they get a little more, if they sell their home, their taxes won’t be a burden on them,” Shelton says.
Shelton also says plans could include building a new Munday Activity Center, and turning the existing one into housing for seniors. Early projections from the city show it could increase the total values of properties by $2 million by the year 2025. Some residents want to see more improvements beyond houses.
“Just making it to where some of the sidewalks are walkable. Right now, we walk and travel on the streets because there are not safe pathways to walk at night,” says Mark Dohrenwend, who lives in northwest Owensboro.
Shelton says they plan more meetings with residents and the citizens action committee in the future. They plan to send the plan to city commissioners for their approval next Spring.
(This story was originally published on September 17, 2019)