PIKEVILLE, Ky. — Pike County will use $300,000 in multi-county coal funding to study the creation of a new community along U.S. 460 near the Fishtrap Lake State Park.
The site will have level land suitable for development thanks to mountain top development, Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said this week. The land is currently owned by TECO Coal, he explained.
“We have been handicapped for years because we have no level land,” Judge Rutherford said. “All this land is being made available through mountain top development.”
There has been a study conducted by Summit Engineering of the opportunity presented when the area is opened up by the new highway.
“We will have 1,200 level acres on the other side of the Fishtrap Reservoir,” Rutherford said. “It is a great opportunity for development.”
“We need to think out of the box,” Rutherford said. “There is such opportunity for development.”
He said his office will meet with the office of Rural Development and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
“Coal Mountain is the name of the community we want to develop,” Rutherford said.
“Some of the ideas we have had in meetings are middle and lower income housing and a retirement community,” Rutherford said. “We are going to visit Russel County, Virginia to see their technical park. We will have no trouble selling these lots.”
He explained that the new U.S. 460 will connect Fishtrap with the Breaks Interstate Park, which could provide an opportunity for tourism development.
“We could have nature walks, bike trails, indoor mountain climbing, indoor horse riding,” Rutherford said.
He said the people of the county are being asked for their input about what projects could be developed at Coal Mountain.
The project will be funded with monies from different agencies, Rutherford explained.
“It is good to bind a package together than gets money from different places,” he said. “During this period of economic distress, Pike County has $550 million in projects moving forward. Sen. Rand Paul is a proponent of mountaintop development, and Governor Beshear is committed to our area.”