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[Maysville] Random news from the river town

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Kentucky Heritage Council members tour Cox building

By MISTY MAYNARD, The Ledger Independent [Maysville], Monday, June 25, 2007

The Cox Building in downtown Maysville was constructed in 1886 and is nearly 50,000 sq. ft. and spread over five floors. It originally housed retail on the first floor, professional offices, and space for the Masonic Lodge. For a long time, Kilgus Pharmacy occupied the ground floor. On June 25, representatives from the Kentucky Heritage Council (and the city of Maysville) gave a tour of the building. The city has filed a Renaissance on the Main grant application, and representatives from the Heritage Council were part of the decision-making team for that grant.

More recently, the Cox building housed several stores, apartments, and the Maysville Mission. The Mission has requested to stay in the building for the time being, because the city has not started on any work yet, and the city finds it beneficial to have a tenant in the building to "keep an eye on things."

The building was purchased by the city of Maysville for $200,000 from Wayne and Diane Johnson with plans to restore it. The grant application that was filed recently is for $150,000 to do mostly exterior work on the building, including repairs on the roof and gutters. Total renovation costs have not been calculated, although it would be very high.

Suggested uses for the Cox building include retail space, apartments, and a conference center. But after discovering that the building was not originally used for apartment space but for professional office space, the city may consider scrapping the apartments and going just for offices. The city is more likely to receive grant money if the building is restored to its original use.

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Multiple fires set at former school

By MISTY MAYNARD, The Ledger Independent [Maysville], Tuesday, June 26, 2007

As many as seven fires were discovered in the now vacant Jones Elementary School Monday. Smoke was coming from the rear portion of the building, and was contained to various locations -- the library, gymnasium, kitchen, and utility room. The majority of the fires were not large, although the utility room was fully engulfed.

The school has been empty since late 2005 when the district moved into the new Mason County Intermediate School. The property was then sold to Tom Lundergan in March 2006 for $80,000. He purchased the building as an investment, and has plans for future work on the property. The damage to the buildings from the fires will not affect those plans.

The fires were all very suspicious, considering all of the locations the fires were set in. No accelerant was appearantly used, but items remaining in the old school were used to fuel the fires -- such as stage curtains, carpeting, and shelves. There was also graffiti, expressing various negative opinions against members of the Maysville police department.

The fire was located several blocks from the Parker Tobacco Warehouse, which suffered extensive fire damage in May.

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More good news from a KY city in regards to the preservation and rehabilitation of an historic structure for productive uses. The Cox Building sounds like it would be a great structure for an assortment of businesses once its done being refurbished. Thats a lot of space. Surely they can find some interesting concepts for its use.

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Independent Excavating wins Maysville riverwalk contract

By Marla Toncray, The Ledger Independent, September 13, 2007

The Maysville City Commission awarded the contract for construction of the Riverwalk project on Thursday. Indepdent Excavating of Maysville was selected to handle the project with a bid of $469,117, and it should be done by late October. The city is awaiting delivery of two construction permits, one from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the second from the Division of Water, and once those have been received, the project will begin.

The Maysville Riverwalk project has been in the works for several years. It will ultimately extend from Limestone Landing to Wall Street, where it will use a pedestrian crossing under the railroad tracks at an existing opening. It will not adjoin the existing Limestone Landing pier, but will be approximately 100 feet downstream from the pier because of a concrete landing pad for riverboats to dock and place gang planks. A sidewalk will connect the two areas.

The entire project will not be complete this year, as the portion bid out must be completed by December 31. The entire Riverwalk project should be completed by late November or early December 2007.

Funds appropriated for the project and are available to the city are just $660,000.

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Fletcher's chief of staff presents check for Cox building restoration

By Misty Maynard, The Ledger Independent [Maysville], October 24, 2007

Stan Cave, chief of staff for Governor Ernie Fletcher, presented a check to the city for $150,000 for restoration efforts of the Cox Building, located at Market and Third streets.

The building was constructed in 1886 by members of the Masonic Lodge, the Knights Templar, has five floors and is nearly 50,000 square feet. It was last used by the Masons in 1971, and has since been used in a variety of ways, mainly with the old Kilgus Pharmacy, which occupied the corner of the building. Most recently, it has housed low-income apartments and the Maysville Mission, although all but one tenant has left the structure.

The city of Maysville purchased the building in December for $200,000 from Wayne and Diane Johnson and intends to restore the building for use possibly as a business incubator and provide additional space for conferences. The total cost of renovation is estimated to be around $3.2 million.

The grant funds came through the Renaissance on Main program administered by the Governor's Office for Local Development. The city was eligible for the funds as it has been labeled a Renaissance community.

The funds will be used for facade work and roofing, among other things.

"Preserving and restoring a jewel like the Cox building is important for Maysville and will bring visitors and businesses alike. Maysville's waterfront downtown has such a rich history, and the restoration to the building will help it survive and be a vibrant part of the future. But the program has done more than just freshen up buildings. It has helped to create stronger economies in our cities and preserved our rich history."

- Governor Ernie Fletcher

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^ Great news for Maysville. The grant will go a long way to help restoring a great old structure and strengthening downtown of Maysville.

Governor Fletcher is going to be beaten badly for re-election in two weeks by Steve Beshear despite his attempts to use these grants and state funding announcements as media tools for his re-election campaign, on the bright side his use of such tactics has greatly aided towns and cities across the state that until this election year have not gotten a whole lot of attention by his administration. Its amazing what a election can do to get a Governor interested in the affairs of the state on the local level and that is a reality not isolated to KY, even if Fletcher has been a little more obvious about doing about it than most Governors.

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