Cave City Mayor Announces Future Projects
From Cave City Mayor Jonas Anderson:
I’d like to take some time and make a very exciting announcement in the history and development of our community.
Since becoming Mayor, I’ve often discussed the serious need we have for a new City Hall building, and the many issues we have with our current building. A couple of years ago, we took the step of having some designs drawn up for a major building project. The cost was estimated to be $4.5 million dollars to get a large single building with offices, a couple of meeting spaces, and some room for growth. That was a hard pill to swallow, and we weren’t exactly sure we wanted to take on a debt like that, at this particular time.
Late last year, however, we were suddenly presented with the option of changing our focus, and going in a bit of a different direction. And that’s what I want to tell you about.
We’ve all seen it … as cities and towns age, they often push new development and investment further and further out from the center. As this happens, the downtown area can easily fall by the wayside. Buildings are allowed to fall into cost-prohibitive disrepair, infrastructure isn’t maintained, roads take priority over pedestrians and, before you know it, what was once the thriving hub of a place becomes a largely forgotten eyesore.
Over the last several years, we’ve been taking incremental steps to try and buck that trend before it’s too late, and those efforts are working. So today I’m excited to show you the next major step on this path.
After many serious discussions, seeking outside counsel, and certainly a lot of prayer, the city now owns three different properties in our historic downtown area.
The first is the former Citizens Bank building, right on Main Street and across from the Bank of Cave City. This 3,100 square foot building has played a major role in the life of our community for at least the past 75 years. It housed the Bank of Cave City for many years, and then a number of other important businesses including The Modern Cafe. I’m proud to say that its legacy will continue as a new City Hall building that will house our Administrative and Water and Sewer offices.
The second is just behind it on Union Street, and is most notably known as the Cave City Lumber Company building. This 1,700 square foot space will be remodeled into a new headquarters for the Cave City Police Department, complete with offices and a needed multipurpose training and meeting space. Behind it, we will also make use of a large metal barn building, and a large tract of vacant land.
The third property is located on Main Street, directly across from Casey’s and our local library. This dilapidated historic building will be cleaned up and turned into a public-use “pocket park” space, where residents can have lunch, host events, or just sit and relax right downtown.
There are a couple of big reasons I’m very excited about this new direction. First, we are expecting to complete these projects with very minimal, if any, financing required. That will be a huge accomplishment, and something we can all be proud of. Secondly, this represents a major investment right in the heart of our historic center. Our presence on lower Main Street and the block adjacent to it will breathe new energy into not only downtown, but the community as a whole. These two points will put us in a stronger position to next look ahead at our important pool and community center needs.
I want to thank our City Council members for their serious, good-faith work and support for the direction in which we are headed. Folks, I go to a lot of meetings, and talk with a lot of different cities all over the state. Too often, I hear stories of mayors constantly fighting with councils, and vice versa, over mostly ridiculous things, and to the point that years are wasted and nothing positive ever gets done for the community. In case you can’t tell, it is not that way in Cave City! We are pressing ahead on literally every front you can imagine, and are charting a fresh and exciting course for our community and residents.
Work on these projects begins immediately. As always, I’ll be posting plenty of updates for you all along the way. Please be patient as we do this work, and as always feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have.
I am grateful for God’s continued blessings and guidance on our efforts, as we work to transform our beloved place from the inside out. Thank you, too, for your continued prayers and support. Please share this post.
For an even better Cave City,