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By Glypie Grider
special to the oldham era
In an effort to enhance the “character, accessibility and drainage” in front of Pewee Valley’s city hall, officials are considering major renovations to the road and parking areas on Mt. Mercy Drive.
Michael Smiley, of Environs, Inc., of Louisville, presented plans to improve the city’s “town squarethe area between City Hall and the Little Colonel Playhouse. Smiley’s landscape architecture firm designed the city’s Central Park last year.
While the city has not budgeted for the possible renovations, Rogers said the city will pursue grant funding similar to the process used to fund Central Park. The city acquired $39,000 in grant money for the park and budgeted $10,000 from the city’s coffers.
“We have to have a plan in order to pursue funding,” Rogers said, noting that a drawing of the proposed renovations is available for viewing at City Hall. It will also be made available on the city’s website.
Proposed renovations include adding handicap accessible ramps, switching to pervious pavers (a material which allows water to penetrate the parking lot surface up to 18 inches), and elevating the area immediately around City Hall so water does not pool — and potentially flood — the lots. Smiley also recommended the city consider a town clock or signature Pewee Valley piece to round out the renovations.
Such renovations would not produce more parking space, “but rather give character to an area that can be thought of as a town square for Pewee Valley,” Smiley said.
Like Central Park, the proposed renovations would factor into the city’s storm water requirements and educational goals, Rogers said. In particular, Rogers said residents would be able to learn about pervious pavement — a rare, but environmentally friendly pavement design. The closest example Rogers could find of such pavement was at a state building in downtown Louisville — “and we kept driving in circles it seemed, because we had a hard time finding it,” he said.
Residents pay an impervious area-based rate of $3 per equivalent residential unit per month, according to water quality documents on the city’s website.
“We want people to see exactly where their money for the storm water fee goes,” Rogers said.
Work on Central Park is also progressing, Rogers added after the Environs presentation last week at the council’s monthly meeting. A gazebo and concrete foundation is expected to be finished by the end of the month. Flowers are also expected to be planted; they were delayed due to heavy storms this spring. Rogers said the council will need to consider bids for watering during the hot summer months.
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