Community speaks out on West Perry project

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By Molly Haines

Questions and concerns were abundant at Owenton City Hall Thursday during a public hearing concerning the West Perry renovation project.

Mayor David “Milkweed” Wotier said he felt the meeting had a positive outcome.

“I think overall the meeting went very well,” Wotier said. “People still had some questions, but by the time they left, they seemed to have a better understanding overall.”

Brian Kirby, president of Community and Economic Development Associates, presented updated maps of West Perry Street and its surroundings. The maps were provided to give the citizens a better understanding of which homes were being discussed for acquisition, clearance or redevelopment.

Community and Economic Development Associates was established in 1994 by Kirby to provide services to communities and nonprofit organizations.

Kirby said the West Perry project was based around low- to moderate-income families.

Pam Sawyer, a West Perry resident, questioned Kirby on the definition of low to moderate income.

Sawyer, whose home is owned by her mother-in-law, said because there are several people living in the home, it can’t be considered a low- to moderate-income household. Sawyer voiced concerns on not being included in the project.

Kirby, who had not received an income survey from Sawyer, didn’t know if she would qualify for the project.

Sawyer also asked why the map had so many changes from the previous one.

Kirby said changes on the map were due to the realization that more money could be spent on other parts of West Perry.

Several citizens, including Sawyer, expressed concerns over the emotional and sentimental value of the homes on West Perry.

“A lot of these families have passed the homes down from several generations,” Sawyer said. “They have meaning to us.”

Kirby said he understood that the homes had sentimental value.

“I understand that some of you have lived in these homes all your life,” Kirby said. “However, the condition of these homes are not getting any better.”

Many attendees spoke with Wotier and Kirby after the initial meeting. Kirby passed out his business card and encouraged those who had further questions to contact him.