'If you build it, they will come’: Plans rolling for Restaurant Row in Salyersville

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 7:27 PM EDT
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SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Congressman Hal Rogers stopped in Salyersville Tuesday to take part in a roundtable discussion about the city’s plans to develop the section of the Mountain Parkway corridor known as Restaurant Row.

Magoffin County officials, joined by state and local representatives, discussed plans for signage and landscaping additions to make driving through Salyersville a more aesthetic adventure.

“We’ve got one vision, and that’s to make Salyersville and Magoffin County- and not just that, but Eastern Kentucky- the place people want to come," said Salyersville Mayor Pete Shepherd.

Shepherd said the hope is to increase interest for potential businesses, helping the economic development of the area while also improving on a space that was hit hard during the 2012 tornadoes.

“We’ve cleaned up. And now, with Restaurant Row and with this signage, we want to be- when people come to Eastern Kentucky- the first thing they see," Shepherd said. “And we want to wow them and when they leave, we want to wow them.”

Magoffin County Judge Executive Matt Wireman said it is less about the beautification and more about teamwork, having everyone on the same page to help out the city, county, and region as a whole.

“I think good things are coming to Eastern Kentucky. And this project here is just one piece of that puzzle,” said Wireman. “It’s kind of like the Field of Dreams. ‘If you build it, they will come.’ And that’s what we believe.”

Congressman Rogers said that attitude and the passion displayed during the discussion is something he hopes other counties across the region will latch on to as they search for ways to thrive in a post-coal economy.

“I wish more of our communities would come together like this, forget their differences, pull in a common direction, and make some good things happen that result in more jobs and a better economy,” said Rogers. “We really don’t have a choice. We’re having to think new thoughts because the old ways are not there."

He said he hopes to see the vision in Salyersville become a reality with the persistence of its leaders and the right funding sources.

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