City officials buy land for higher ground community

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Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 6:49 PM EST
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NEON, Ky. (WYMT) - Flood recovery has not been easy for folks in the Neon community of Letcher County.

City officials bought 20 acres of land for a higher ground community for flood survivors.

“This announcement, the elected leadership in Neon, really hit it out of the park, they just took the ball... Took the bull by the horns,” said Pine Mountain Partnership Executive Director, Jeffery Justice.

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He said they need to create new housing out of the flood zone.

“So, we need to retain as many people as we can. Our aging housing is a problem. Most of our housing was built in the 40s, 50s. So, that’s not a good place to be,” he explained.

Nathan Bailey, with ENC Bailey Construction, said they can not do that without infrastructure.

“We need roads, updated water and sewer... All of the utilities and resources it takes to create new housing space and new land to be built on,” he said.

He said there is still a lot of hard work that needs to be done.

“We’re just really optimistic about these projects that are just in the beginning stages right now, there’s a lot of work to do. There’s a lot of funding to go after, you know, several steps to make it happen, there’s a lot of people in place working hard,” he explained.

Bailey said communication within the county is what helps all of the projects run smoothly.

“Whitesburg wants to see Neon succeed. Neon wants to see Jenkins succeed. It’s a county-wide support for basically all of the projects that are happening,” he said.

He said this could not be done without help from Neon Mayor Ricky Burke.