Representatives of Governor Ernie Fletcher's office and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet awarded two Transportation Enhancement grants totaling $631,000 to officials of the City of Carlisle and Nicholas County.
Two checks were accepted, with gratitude, by Carlisle Mayor Gene Kelley and Nicholas County Judge Executive Larry Tincher in a Tuesday morning presentation ceremony in the courthouse.
A $240,000 check was presented to Mayor Kelley and the City of Carlisle to be used for renovation of the historic Neal Building on Main Street in downtown Carlisle, which was constructed in 1883, to serve as a visitors center, museum and performing arts/meeting facility. The visitors center will serve as a tourism and welcome center for both city and county, and the museum will feature antique items common to past life in Nicholas County.
A $391,000 grant was presented to Judge Executive Tincher and the Nicholas County Fiscal Court to be used to restore and preserve the old National Guard Armory located on Highway 36 (East Main Street) in Carlisle. The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the current operational center of the Nicholas County Ambulance Ser-vice, the University of Kentucky Extension Service, and the Nicholas County Conservation District.
In making the presentations on behalf of Governor Fletcher and the Transportation Cabinet, Transportation Enhance-ment Program Executive Director Corey Meadows said, "I want to recognize and give special thanks to the officials of Nicholas County and Carlisle for their dedication and commitment to these projects. There is no question that these preservation projects help the program's goal of strengthening the cultural and aesthetic aspects of Kentucky's intermodal transportation system."
"By awarding these to the City of Carlisle and to Nicholas County, said Acting Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert, we are fulfilling the Fletcher administration's primary mission, which is to improve economic development and the quality of life for the citizens of the Commonwealth.
The presentation of the two checks was attended by State Senator R. J. Palmer and State Representative Carolyn Belcher, who represent the community in the Kentucky General Assembly, and by several members of the Carlisle City Council and the Nicholas County Fiscal Court and other community activists.
The Transportation Enhancement program was created by federal legislation in 1991 to offer states funding opportunities to expand transportation choices and increase recreational access. Communities may use Transportation Enhancement funds to contribute toward the revitalization of local and regional economies by restoring historic buildings, renovating streetscapes or providing transportation museums and visitors centers.