Ludlow mayor to back Riverfront Commons grant

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Ludlow City Council approved a resolution that will let the mayor submit a letter of commitment for the city’s share of the Riverfront Commons RAISE Planning Grant during their city council meeting Thursday night.

The Riverfront Commons project is a 20-mile paved multi-use path connecting Ludlow to Melbourne along the Northern Kentucky riverfront. Once complete, Riverfront Commons could feature access to dozens of business districts, trailheads, public greenspaces and overlooks along all seven riverfronts.

In early 2023, Southbank Partners and the city of Bellevue were awarded a $3.7 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for Riverfront Commons that will be used to fund designing and engineering for the remaining portions of the path.

“Ludlow is far behind some of the other cities as far as the work on this,” Ludlow Mayor Chris Wright said. “It does have an impact on the draw of folks into our community. It does have an impact on recreational opportunities for folks. It does have an impact on transportation into town.”

Wright previously emphasized his commitment to the project in his first quarterly newsletter of 2023.

During Thursday’s council meeting, Ludlow resident Jo Rogers urged council members to vote against authorizing the mayor to submit the letter.

“We’re in a very difficult financial time right now,” Rogers said. “You’ve got people worried about how they’re going to pay their property taxes, and you’re willing to send a letter to commit for 20% matching funds to what I think is a bike pass? It’s supposed to entice people to come here. Are they going to come and spend money in the town? Or are they going to go along the river somewhere else? Is this going to be a thoroughfare? It might end up costing us money.”

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Wright highlighted the economic impact the project is expected to have in Ludlow.  

“It is a passive income that’s being drawn the same way that a park is a passive income or the same way that a school brings in a passive income,” Wright said.

The city of Ludlow’s share of the Riverfront Commons project is set to be 20%. Currently, the city’s projected 20% match would be $154,298 with 50% of the money due by Feb. 1, 2024, and the remaining 50% due by Aug. 1, 2024.

For more information regarding the Ludlow part of the project, click here.

You can also check out the multi-use path’s full map here.

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