MILLERSBURG, KY. (July 13, 2023) – Community Ventures (CV) today continued its commitment to comprehensive community and economic development by launching phase three of the revitalization of Millersburg with a new $4.5 million fund. The Jan Wagoner Millersburg Revitalization Fund (Fund), named after a long-term Millersburg revitalization advocate, is CV’s latest effort to strengthen the economy of Millersburg and Bourbon County.
Phase three of CV’s revitalization of Millersburg focuses on creating the commercial infrastructure necessary to attract businesses to the city. Without commercial buildings, Millersburg lacks the ability to attract businesses to the area, which restricts the city from achieving its goal of economic growth.
“In Millersburg, our downtown historic buildings are the only properties where businesses can relocate,” said Community Ventures President and CEO Kevin Smith. “Creating this fund allows Community Ventures to preserve the city’s ability to attract business by rescuing these historic gems before the properties decay beyond repair.”
Over the last four years, CV’s community and economic development initiatives have contributed nearly $50,000 to the Millersburg tax base, and phase three of CV’s revitalization of Millersburg will offer the city additional revenue streams.
“The availability of quality commercial and residential properties is foundational to the economic growth of Millersburg and Bourbon County,” said Gordon Wilson, Executive Director of the Paris-Bourbon County Economic Development Authority. “For years, Community Ventures has been rejuvenating the community of Millersburg, and the value of its development of these historic properties significantly strengthens the economy of Bourbon County and the City of Millersburg.”
Financing for the Fund flows from $3 million in new market and historic tax credits secured by CV. CV plans to raise the remaining $1.5 million to support revitalizing the properties over the next few months and has already started conducting property tours with potential funders. “
Rehabilitated historic structures support Millersburg’s identity and, when coupled with sensitive new construction, strengthen our neighborhoods, enhance a community’s sense of place, and improve the overall quality of life for residents of all socioeconomic backgrounds,” said Craig Potts, Executive Director of the Kentucky Heritage Council and State Historic Preservation Office. “Financing the rehabilitation of deteriorated historic structures can be challenging, and we are thrilled to work with Community Ventures on utilizing state Historic Preservation Tax Credits to make worthwhile preservation projects happen in Millersburg.”
The Fund will support the revitalization of four residential and five commercial properties located at:
- 902 Main Street
- 1112 Main Street
- 703 Main Street
- 905 Main Street
- 306 Main Street
- 101 E. 5th Street
- 109 E. 5th Street
- 404 Main Street
- 501 Main Street
“Community Ventures’ new fund is vital to promoting the community’s vision and will breathe new energy into the community by building on the foundation of the past,” said Eric Whisman, President of Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation. “Community Ventures and its partners recognize the value of Millersburg’s historic fabric, and I’m grateful to be a part of saving important historic places that foster new opportunities.”
The historic properties slated for revitalization include one of Millersburg’s oldest homes, which was built in 1812 at 902 Main Street, and a deteriorating bank with a collapsed marble floor at 408 Main Street. CV hopes to complete the restoration of all nine buildings by the summer of 2024.
“Cleaning up abandoned and blighted properties within a community has been my passion for many years,” said Millersburg resident Jan Wagoner. “I’m grateful to Community Ventures for their efforts to create communities that people are proud to call home, and I am humbled and honored to be affiliated with its community revitalization efforts.”
CV began phase one of revitalizing Millersburg by creating a significant attraction or anchor destination at the Millersburg Military Institute (MMI), now Mustard Seed Hill. CV has invested over $20 million to restore the MMI campus, which now houses Bourbon Christian Academy, an event and wedding venue, a business incubator that has brought three businesses to Millersburg, and eleven bedrooms for overnight stays. Currently, the campus attracts over 75,000 visitors annually, buoyed by Christmas at Mustard Seed Hill.
After attracting tourists to the area, in phase two, CV turned to creating additional overnight accommodations for those visitors by developing decaying residential properties into beautiful, historic accommodations that can be booked through online reservation platforms.
Creating the Fund is part of phase three of CV’s efforts to revitalize Millersburg. The goal of this phase of work is to bring businesses to Millersburg, where tourists and residents can shop. Developing this Fund moves Millersburg closer to their goal. To learn more about CV’s comprehensive economic and community development efforts, visit https://cvky.org.
About Community Ventures: Founded in 1982 as a community-based, non-profit organization, Community Ventures (CV) strengthens communities and improves the overall quality of life for Kentuckians by supporting job creation, small business ownership, and home ownership. CV is headquartered in Lexington with branch locations in Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Louisville, Mayfield, Millersburg, and Owensboro. For 21 consecutive years, CV has been named Microlender of the Year by the Kentucky Small Business Administration.