City manager optimistic of continued growth in '18

Abigail Gibson

PIKEVILLE — The City of Pikeville's growth is continuing to move forward in 2018.


"In 2018, our focus will remain on economic development. We will continue working with Enterblu, AppHarvest, SilverLiner and Seven Peaks, which is one of our announced tenants, in moving those projects toward construction," City Manager Philip Elswick said. "We have some work to do as far as our infrastructure, so we will be working closely with them to do that."


Elswick said the Enterprise Industrial Park is essentially full.


"That's going to put roughly 1,200 people back to work. So, we expect to see an influx of cash into the local and regional economy. With that, people will drive one, maybe two hours to work for a company in the park," he said. "There's also going to be new people coming into town, so we are looking at potential areas for housing."


Elswick said officials will be working to attract downtown development.


"We're currently doing a project now on Second Street, which we call Second Street Street Escape. Essentially we're looking at ways to make it more pedestrian friendly and attract people downtown," he said. "Main Street Director Minta Trimble has other things planned for the spring, summer and fall months to highlight Second Street."


He said the city will continue to focus on bringing additional businesses along the U.S. 23 corridor.


"Beyond that we will also continue working on our broadband initiative, which is designed to bring gigabit service to every part of town," Elswick said. "This will likely be done in phases because of the enormous construction cost to that project."


The waste water treatment plant project is still in the works and under construction.


"We also have a number of other infrastructure projects such as the air water treatment plant. We're trying to upgrade the intake, so we can produce more water," he said.


Elswick said with the opening of Dueling Barrels, Second Street will become the backdoor of the distillery and the city can expect to have a lot more traffic, in addition to several downtown vendors.


"Dueling Barrels is projected to be open this spring. We anticipate that being added to the Bourbon Trail, so if that is the case we will have a significant number of people come through Pikeville each year so they can complete the trail," he said.


Asia Grill, MOD Pizza and Starbucks, which will be located in Food City, are working on creating a presence in Pikeville.


The city is continuing to work on its bike project, which looks to be completed before 2019.


"With the bike project, we want to make the area more pedestrian and bike friendly. So we hope that will open up more transportation alternatives," Elswick said.


He said they hope to get a Trail Town destination and will continue working on the initiative.


Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) is in the construction process of building their advanced technology center.


"We're very excited for our city this year. We are thrilled about it, everything we're doing enhances the quality of life for the city, our residents and businesses," Elswick concluded.