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State and local projects are the most anticipated items on Mayor Blake Proffitt’s list for changes coming to Vine Grove this year.
The three main construction efforts planned to begin when the weather warms are a tornado shelter near the Vine Grove Fire Department, a sewer expansion to offer service along Ky. 313 and the renovation of the city water system, Proffitt said.
“I’ve been talking about these things for two years,” he said. “As I’ve found out, the political process takes longer to do these things than you ever thought possible.”
Construction on the tornado shelter likely will begin this spring.
The safe room is paid for with a $600,000 Hazard Mitigation Grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to give shelter to area residents who need it.
There were some drainage issues with the site on Highland Avenue. Engineers recently completed runoff work to make sure the construction doesn’t damage neighboring properties, Proffitt said.
The sewer expansion is funded by money from the Base Realignment and Closure initiative and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The sewer expansion is planned to allow service to businesses that might set up along Ky. 313.
The water line infrastructure renovation, which also is paid for with BRAC money, is designed to update the aging system to better serve current users and prepare for new growth.
The plan also calls for a new water tower. Engineers are investigating whether it would be best to build a joint tower with Hardin County Water District No. 1, Proffitt said.
“It’s just one of those things that makes sense,” he said.
The changes could correct some of the supply and pressure issues residents throughout the town have reported, Proffitt said.
The water system renovation is the only construction effort expected to inconvenience residents because it includes replacing some service lines under roads.
Proffitt said crews will get the work done as quickly as possible to minimize impact on those living in the area.
Having so many projects going on simultaneously will be taxing to city staff, Proffitt said.
“It seems like everything is going on at once,” he said. “It will just add something else to the daily workload.”
A less ambitious list of projects Proffitt hopes can be completed includes repairs to City Hall on West Main Street, especially places where the stucco is peeling from the outside walls.
It might be hard to expect residents to maintain the beauty of their own properties if City Hall looks like it’s in disrepair, he said.
“It does reflect the community,” he said.
More residents than ever might be able to enjoy all the changes and improvements in Vine Grove because a developer has met with officials about building more homes in the community, Proffitt said.
There has been some concern throughout the county of developers building homes beyond the price range of new residents moving to the area as part of BRAC.
New constructions must be selling, however, because developers still are building, Proffitt said.
Vine Grove is an attractive place to settle for new Hardin County residents because of its proximity to Fort Knox and its small-town atmosphere, he said.
Most new construction has taken place on the perimeter of town, preserving the small-town feel of the downtown area, Proffitt said.
“There’s a real blessing to the way the growth is occurring,” he said.
The biggest accomplishment in the city during 2012 was fixing problems with the sewer plant and getting it back on line before the weather got bad enough to cause problems and delays, Proffitt said.
The 20-year-old system had some aging and storm-damage issues from a fallen tree, he said.
The solid waste tank was drained for the first time in recent memory to make repairs and prevent future corrosion, Proffitt said.
“Sometimes, things just need maintenance,” he said.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.