The City of Mt. Sterling is continuing to grow. The Main Street update with period lighting and new sidewalks along with ADA compliance for all of the downtown area’s front building entrances was completed earlier this year.
City Manager Vada Yingling says that the city was able to complete the project with the state’s Transportation Enhancement Program known as ITEP. The 80/20 grant helped the city renovate at little to no cost to the city. She says the city has applied for and been approved for a second round of ITEP funds to do a second phase of renovation: “We applied for the second round of ITEP funding just this last November, and this was going to be [for] Phase II, which is two blocks of historic Capitol Avenue, which would be up from Main Street to the courthouse and then a block south from Main Street south to the next block to South Street. The project includes sidewalks making everything ADA compliant to every building, new parking lanes, period lighting which will match Main Street, along with benches, and some landscaping and planters. We will also re-pave those two blocks of Capitol Avenue all on the city’s responsibility.”
Yingling says that the beautification project has made the downtown area more accessible. She says the city has gone with Hutchison Engineering of Jacksonville. She says that the city has had a long, successful history of working with the engineering firm on various projects over the years. The full project will cost $1,757,800 with the ITEP funding covering $1,379,200. The city’s obligation will be $378,600 plus engineering costs.
Current occupancy of buildings in the downtown area is now over 90% as more businesses continue to move into the area. She says is not just the downtown area that is growing: “We are having a 51-home subdivision being built. They broke ground earlier this year, about a couple of months ago. It’s on the west side of town. The city formed another TIF district, a 3rd TIF district that encompasses not only the new subdivision but Clark Park, our swimming pool, our ball diamonds. It takes in some residential [areas] and also out to our nursing home so that there is room for if there is ever improvements there, we will have TIF monies available to help fund those improvements. It’s exciting to think that we would have a new subdivision. We haven’t had a new subdivision in Mt. Sterling since the 50s or 60s.”
Yingling says that the city and the county have plenty of jobs and are hoping to attract more people that have to drive into the county for those jobs to come live in Mt. Sterling. Yingling says she’s excited to see the growth of the city and has high hopes for what the future will be bringing.