WEST LIBERTY, KY — The City of West Liberty recently developed an online database that made a list of commercial and industrial properties available to the public.
The city was awarded $10,000 through the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Flex-E-Grant program, which is administered by The Center for Rural Development.
The online-interactive map is part of a long-term strategic business marketing plan developed by the city. The Gateway Area Development District created a list of all available commercial and industrial properties within the West Liberty city limits, which included office spaces, warehouses, empty lots, and commercial buildings. They collected information on all items that would benefit future business that come into the area such as contact information, sale or rental price, square footage, acreage, condition, construction year , ADA compliance, heating and cooling, and GPS data.
The map provides direction for economic development efforts within the city. This is an effort to rejuvenate the local business culture, which was devastated by the tornado in 2012. The city hopes this will increase interest in commercial properties and attract new investments in the local economy.
The Center for Rural Development (The Center) and the Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College worked together to identify projects that align with the goals of the Flex-E Grant Program and support other regional initiatives such as Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and the Kentucky Promise Zone. The grants provide a critical resource for communities to plan and implement projects that address both local and regional development efforts.
The 2017 ARC Flex-E-Grants funded 22 projects totaling more than $180,000 in grant funds with a minimum of 20 percent matched locally. The grants were awarded in economically distressed counties, as designated by the ARC, including Carter, Clay, Cumberland, Estill, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Letcher, Magoffin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Morgan, and Whitley counties.
Three additional multi-county projects with a regional development focus will impact counties of Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Whitley, and Wolfe.
These Southern and Eastern Kentucky communities used the grants to engage local residents in planning processes that explore strategic approaches to community and economic development, and projects that result in assets for tourism, downtown revitalization, youth development and other areas.
For more information on The Center’s Flex-E-Grant program, contact Patti Simpson at 606-677-6000.
Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.