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Fayette Alliance Supports Hydrology Study for Downtown Lexington

TB Study Area Map

Town Branch Study Area Map

The future of Lexington’s Distillery District reaches crossroads

by Beth Musgrave, 10.18.13, Kentucky.com

More than 10,000 visitors from as far away as Japan have come to the Barrel House Distillery on Manchester Street over the last year.

Located on the far west end of Manchester Street in the city’s Distillery District, the craft distillery that makes small-batch liquors such as Devil John Moonshine has become such a draw that it expanded its tour days from two to five days a week, said Jeff Wiseman, co-owner of Barrel House Distillery.

“It’s really shocked us,” Wiseman said. “Last Saturday, we had 125 people.”

Distillery District backers point to those numbers as evidence that there’s tremendous economic potential in the stalled Distillery District on Manchester Street, an arts and entertainment district first proposed in 2007…Read more at Kentucky.com

It was determined that no budget amendment was required in order to move funds for expenditure for the Distillery District Hydrology Study. As a result no formal Council action was taken. The Council will be requested to approve the expenditure of the funds and to authorize the Mayor to sign the related necessary agreements when the respective agreements for the performance of the services are finalized.

On Thursday, October 10th LFUCG Urban County Government will meet to discuss funding a hydrology study for the Town Branch Watershed in downtown Lexington.

If completed the hydrology study will provide essential information on how Town Branch Stream behaves during wet and dry weather events—establishing current data on its floodplain; and how both new and old buildings throughout downtown interact with it.

With this analysis, the city of Lexington will have a baseline assessment of the Town Branch watershed—which will inform and facilitate wide-range investment in our urban core.

Just as LFUCG has invested in infrastructure throughout other parts of the city to promote growth—such as roads, sewers, schools, and emergency services—a broad-based hydrology study of the Town Branch Stream will establish the green infrastructure necessary for development downtown.

According to the Destination 2040 project, and even more recent polls and Comprehensive Plan discussions, the vast majority of Lexingtonians want to sustainably “grow up, not out” for the foreseeable future. To achieve this goal, our community must invest in studies and infrastructure needed to make this vision a reality. A hydrology study for downtown Lexington is a prime example of such an investment.

Additionally, in light of Lexington’s EPA Consent Decree and our ongoing water quality programs, identifying green infrastructure and understanding stream conditions in our watersheds—from the suburbs to the Distillery District—is of utmost importance in the community. If grant money is available, the government should lead such an effort to promote the healthy and efficient operation of our built and natural environment. It is a matter of public welfare and safety.

For these reasons, Fayette Alliance asks that Urban County Council allocate $500,000 of the $1.7 million Build America Bond to a hydrology study of downtown Lexington.

Read the complete position statement,

Learn More (PDF)