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Salyersville Independent

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Sidewalk project hits a dead end

FRANKFORT – Last week the state released the 2022-2024 Biennial Highway Construction Plan, with one crucial Magoffin County project seemingly left off the budget.

The plan was released on March 31, detailing all the road projects approved by the legislature, but the sidewalk project that would have extended the sidewalks from downtown to the mouth of Will May Branch Road was not included in the budget.

Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matt Wireman told Mortimer Media Group that he was alerted about a month ago that the sidewalk project – which the county has already spent over $1 million in the study and planning phases of the project – was not on the biennial plan.

“I started working with legislators then to see if that project could stay in theplan, but it didn’t happen,” Wireman said.

Wireman explained that with the decision of the state Senate to not fund this project, all the money already spent is simply lost and the project will not be taking place.

“Look at what a disappointment this is to our community,” Wireman said. “The economic development, the infrastructure, and everything we had hoped for is just gone. We already had plans to do some upgrades at the city park along with the project, and so many things were going to happen and now they’re not.”

Magoffin County was previously allocated $560,000 from the Commonwealth’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which is a federal reimbursement program administered through the Office of Local Programs in the KYTC’s Department of Rural and Municipal Aid. In order to complete the project, the county would have had to receive the funding from the state, which now will not happen.

As far as what was actually included in the state’s biennial plan for Magoffin County, legislators approved extending the four-lane Mountain Parkway project from US 460 to the Magoffin/Floyd County Line on KY 114, with $5.3 million allocated for the 2023 fiscal year. A $63,000 project to install guardrail on KY 40 during the 2022 fiscal year $60,000 for guardrails along KY 867 during the fiscal year 2024, and the improvement project of US 460 at the Ivy Point Hill west of Salyersville, with $4.28 million approved for the 2024 fiscal year, were all included in the plans. In total, $9.703 million were approved to be spent on Magoffin County roadways during the 2022, 2023 and 2024 fiscal years.

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