Southern Kentucky mayor has big city plans for the future

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SOMERSET, Ky. (WKYT) - A downtown farmers market is just one of the additions a mayor from southern Kentucky hopes to add in order to change the city's future.

Somerset borders Lake Cumberland, a lake that gets more visitors than several well-known tourist destinations, but for reasons not specifically known, 32-year-old Mayor Alan Keck said people don't come off the water and into Somerset.

"I think that so often we struggle to tell the story of what we already have and we focus, especially in Kentucky, on what we're not. We have a tendency to apologize for what we don't have instead of showcasing what we do have," he said.

The youthful mayor said his age is something that can bring vitality to the southern Kentucky city.

"I bring energy and a vision that has been lacking in our community, but I also have a great appreciation for the generations that come before us," he said. "I want to be compared to Bowling Green and Lexington and Louisville."

Keck is rolling out a marketing plan like Somerset has never seen before.

"That fresh start is critical for young people to have something they are proud of," he said. "We have a brain drain. Lots of small towns in Kentucky do. Our best and brightest go off and get an education and never come back home, but what are we providing for them to come home to? That's what we're trying to change."

Keck is unveiling an ambitious marketing campaign with a new logo and video to show potential investors the Somerset life. Keck wants the bourbon boom to stretch south to the city. He wants a distillery downtown and has made a video to pitch to potential investors.

Keck wants to show those that visit the lake on weekends that they can come downtown for more fun because he wants people to understand the spirit of the area spills beyond the water.

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