Perhaps no one knows the ins and outs of the capital city better than Downtown Frankfort Inc. Director Kelly Everman, which makes her the perfect choice to execute the master plan for the community's central business and cultural district.
Following the disbandment of the Capital Plaza Community Engagement Committee (CPCEC), a quasi-governmental group that was charged with aiding the state with redevelopment planning, the task to seek public input and implement the Downtown Master Plan now falls in the hands of DFI and its fearless leader. It won’t be an easy job.
Which goal of the Downtown Master Plan is most important to achieve?
The master plan — developed from the responses of nearly 5,000 stakeholders and paid for by $100,000 in taxpayer money from the city and county — aims to incorporate a wider range of housing options; take advantage of the riverfront; improve traffic flow and circulation; encourage walkability; create more usable public space; and increase bourbon and cultural tourism.
In June, the city commission set aside $150,000 to start making the plan come to fruition. But before that happens, Everman and the DFI board, chaired by respected businesswoman and civic leader Terri Bennett, will need to get caught up on the progress of the projects that have already begun.
“I’d like to meet with each team that was loosely developed based on this and see where we are, and then formulate how to get input and get it moving,” said Everman, who was also a member of the CPCEC.
We have confidence that if anyone can keep momentum behind the Downtown Master Plan and its related projects, it is DFI and Everman, whose excitement is contagious and who seemingly never backs down from a challenge. This might be her biggest one yet.
As she told a State Journal reporter, “Quite frankly, I don’t think there is anything more important going on downtown right now than this master plan.”
We couldn’t agree more. Downtown Frankfort is undergoing a reawakening, and Everman is the right person to lead the charge.