Big Potential Changes Could Come to Courthouse, Community Center, More In Future
Darren Doyle, story and photo: drawings provided by PEP
Preserving Edmonson Pride (PEP), a local non-profit organization purposed for beautifying the community, gave a presentation at today's fiscal court meeting as they outlined goals set for improvements made within the city of Brownsville.
Shaksa Hines, PEP member, said after Brownsville and Edmonson County was named an official Trail Town, a group of citizens started a discussion about making some improvements to the appearance of the community.
"We formed a non-profit with a mission of working with county and city governments to beautify public spaces, to bring about economic development, and enhance the quality of life of our citizens," she said.
She said that over the past year, PEP has been working with Arnold Consulting and Engineering Services for some design ideas around town that focus on the courthouse square. PEP member Andrea Brantley then presented a slide show with some photos of the town square dating back decades to remind the court of the thriving community Brownsville once had. They consisted of hardware stores, auto dealers, appliance stores, cafes, and even two pool halls next door to one another.
She then showed some renderings of proposed redesigns of the county courthouse, the community center building, and the surrounding area.
Mrs. Brantley also said that one of PEP's goals was to seek out grants for these projects, which are available; however, they must be done in conjunction with city and county governments.
"We have done studies that prove there are over 2 million people that go through Brownsville every year. They're either going Nolin Lake State Park, or they're going to Mammoth Cave. What our motives are, is to draw those people in. We don't want them going to Leitchfield, Bowling Green, or Cave City to spend their money, we want to develop businesses in the county where those tourists will come spend their money with us."
She then described how their initiative would first focus on coming into town then onto the courthouse square.
She said board members have covered the costs associated with the architectural firm up to this point and the firm is currently working on full cost estimations for these improvements.
Costs would likely be in the millions when all said and done; however, PEP is actively seeking grant funding for these proposed projects.
Judge Cannon said he fully supports the efforts of PEP and encouraged the court and county to do the same.
"These grants are not available with people without a plan, and you can see this organization has been working on these things for two years," he said. "We have a group here that’s willing to put the time, resources, and energy into this, and we need to support this."
To find out more about Preserving Edmonson Pride, visit their Facebook Page by clicking here.