Damron said he, Cassity and Meyer began meeting about ways to cover the overrun costs, and the state representative scheduled a meeting with the governor.
“One option was in the secretary of transportation cabinet,” Damron said. “The legislature establishes a contingency fund. This is for state projects that come up that are between the two legislative cycles.”
Beshear has total control over those funds, Damron said, and it is up to the governor to decide how those funds are spent.
“We had the secretary of transportation in there and others from that office to talk about what a great project it is, and Gov. Beshear embraced the project and agreed that it was something that needed to be done,” Damron said. “He said, ‘Well, boys, what do you need?’ And we said, ‘Let’s shoot for the moon,’ and we told him that we needed a quarter of a million dollars.”
After conferring with transportation cabinet members, Beshear committed to the project.
“The governor has agreed to allocate to the city $250,000 to help finish the main street program due to cost overruns,” Damron said.
He added that Beshear plans to visit Nicholasville for a formal check presentation.
According to the city’s website, http://www.nicholasville.org, the Allen Company has made progress in the demolition of the first two blocks of the downtown streetscape project.
Storm drain boxes will be put in at the intersection of Oak and Main streets, and concrete curb forms will begin being set. Utility trenching also began this week.
The city will hold weekly public information meetings at city hall at 10 a.m. on Mondays during the duration of the project.
During Monday’s meeting, the city commission authorized the mayor to sign a commercial lease agreement between the city of Nicholasville and United Bank. This will allow the general public to park in the bank’s parking lot.
“It will be opened to the public,” Meyer said. “I think it will be a great thing in the days to come through our downtown renovation project.”
The parking lot will provide 22 additional parking spaces downtown.
As part of the agreement, the city will maintain the lot, and Commissioner Andy Williams said the street department will put down some sealer and restripe the lot, along with other general upkeep.