Mayor offers money to clean up vacant lots - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Mayor offers money to clean up vacant lots

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LOUISVILLE, Ky.  Your bright ideas could lead to cash and property. Metro Louisville is asking for your help developing the city's vacant lots.  It's all part of a new competition. This city is looking for your most creative ideas.

"I own property in Parkland," says Pam Newman, Parkland Property Owner.

Newman may have just found an answer to her problem.  "If I wanted to sell my property, it is not really going to reap me any benefits."

The problem? Newman's property is surrounded by vacant lots.

Newman explains, "It would be really difficult for me to get a mortgage on my property. I'm fully paid but nobody is going to lend to me in that area in that area and the value of my home is decreasing."

But Tuesday morning, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a competition that could help Newman.

"I think it's a step in the right direction to say 'hey, residents, what do you think could be affective?" says Newman.

Mayor Fischer said, "If you have a great idea to bring a vacant lot back to life...we need to hear it."

The competition involves hundreds of city owned vacant lots in Metro Louisville.

Fischer says, "We are calling this program lots of possibility."

Mayor Fischer says the rules are simple - be creative and be bold...and the winners will split $38,000 dollars.

"So two winners of the proposals will receive 15-thousand dollars to put their ideas into action and recreate a reconstructive permanent use lot.  There will be two additional winners that will be awarded 4-thousand dollars for temporary or interim use projects plus a one to two year land lease," said the Mayor.

Similar contests have produced gardens, playgrounds, golf courses and exercise space in other cities.

Newman says, "I started thinking about it this morning when I heard about the idea."

And now her creative juices are flowing.  "I've been thinking a lot about arts and bringing art into blighted neighborhoods and how commerce and art could be blended together," says Newman.

The competition is funded by grant money.  All entries are due in February.

Copyright 2014 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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