Downtown getting a new look with murals

Published 2:33 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2020



The Middlesboro City Council was updated on projects being tackled by the Middlesboro Main Street program during the panel’s Sept. 15 meeting.

Mayor Rick Nelson called on Main Street Executive Director Larry Grandey, who advised the council concerning a grant designed to help ease the costs of environmental studies that must be completed before properties can be sold.

Grandey advised the council that Linebach and Funkhouser, a company out of Louisville, has been contracted to help service the grant.  Grandey said eight firms applied to provide services, but Linebach and Funkhouser best met the criteria for selection.

“Their first meeting will be Oct. 1,” Grandey said.  “It will be with realtors and bankers to tell them why this is important…the first public meeting will be Oct. 15.”

Grandey said he is excited about the grant.

“This is the first time that this kind of grant has been awarded to the entire county,” Grandey said.  “Typically, it’s awarded to just a city, but this is including the city of Middlesboro, the city of Pineville and all of Bell County.”

Following the meeting, Grandey clarified a few details of the grant.

“We’ll be offering to realtors, sellers and buyers stage one environmental studies on commercial and residential property for no cost to anyone in Middlesboro, Pineville or all of Bell County,” Grandey said.  “Typically, a phase one environmental study is at least $5,000. A bank, by law, has to request a phase one environmental study on any commercial property.”

Grandey also mentioned a pair of murals going up in Middlesboro.

“We have two murals going up,” Grandey said.  “One on the Tamer building, the other at Levitt Park. Both of those will be underway.”

The Tamer building is located at the corner of 19th and Cumberland, with work scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Friday.

Grandey mentioned a group of artists will be working on the Tamer building, with a group of five artists coming from California and another three artists from other states will be assisting.

“It will be a 10-day project,” Grandey said.  “It will cover approximately 80 percent of a building that is 30 feet tall and 100 feet long.”

The project at Levitt Park will be handled by a local artist, who Grandey says is known for her realistic depictions of horses.