Last updated: July 18. 2013 11:17PM - 1344 Views
Cris Ritchie

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We’re more than a little encouraged by the talk coming lately from the county’s southernmost city.

Officials with the city of Vicco are currently working to revitalize the town of just over 300 people, and it’s an effort well worth making.

We were especially encouraged a couple months ago when during an interview with newly elected Mayor Johnny Cummings, we learned that Vicco will be undergoing extensive infrastructure improvements, first with fixing leaky and neglected waterlines dating back to the previous administration, and then with a project to rehab the city’s sewer plant. The latter project especially, Mayor Cummings noted, is badly needed.

And with improved infrastructure officials have a better hand at economic development. It wasn’t that long ago that Vicco, named for the Virginia Iron Coal and Coke Company, was a thriving little coal town. And while it also had a bit of a reputation, we’d certainly like to see that economic vitality, for whatever it was worth, return to the city.

Vicco is fortuitously situated on the Knott/Perry line along Highway 15, a roadway that carries a significant amount of traffic with workers traveling from Knott County to Hazard, or from Perry County to Knott County and Whitesburg. There is no reason why a revitalized Vicco can’t capture some of the business that traffic represents.

Currently, there are a total of six businesses within city limits, but we certainly recognize that there could be more with a progressive strategy in place. We don’t expect Vicco to become the next Lexington or Louisville, but the small town has some things going for it, and there’s no reason why growth can’t be on the horizon.

And finally, we were also encouraged with Monday’s approval of an anti-discrimination ordinance approved by the city commission. Though we agree with Commissioner Tim Engle in that discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity doesn’t seem to be a problem in Vicco, our government agencies should none the less work to ensure equality.

What Vicco has done is ensure that businesses cannot discriminate against a particular group of people. And that’s a good thing. If discrimination against certain groups of people had been allowed to continue in America over the years, we’d likely still see restaurants with “colored only” sections in some areas of the nation.

So while there is undoubtedly a lot of work to do in Vicco, it’s a good sign that the local officials there are apparently willing to do it.

— The Hazard Herald

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