The Village of Piketon continues to develop with new improvement projects in the works.

Piketon Mayor Billy Spencer recently sat down for an interview with the News Watchman to discuss some of the ongoing and upcoming changes in the village.

“We’ve been very busy,” he said.

A major project that is now fully funded and hopefully will begin soon is a sanitary sewer extension to the east side of U.S. Route 23. The extension will provide sewer services on the east side of the highway from the InSolves building (formerly the Ohio Candle Company) to Fairground Road.

The total cost for the project is $180,646, Spencer said, but the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded Piketon $126,452, which left $54,194 as the local share. Spencer expressed his thanks to JEDISO (Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio) and Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth for donating the local share, and he thanked Gary Arnett, Pike County Development Director, for his help in securing the funding.

According to Spencer, a new business addition is already planned for the east side of Route 23 thanks to the sewer extension. (The News Watchman plans to have more information on that business in a future edition.)

In other developments, Spencer mentioned that there is more residential development being completed on Pike Hill.

“You’re going to see a lot of construction up there and new homes,” he said.

Spencer said that the village is growing and that if there is a true census count this year he thinks the results will show population growth in the village. He said that between 2000 and 2010 the village saw a little more than 15 percent growth in population.

He said that residents can help the village by making sure they complete the census. The census numbers help Piketon gain some of its funding, he indicated.

“We’re trying to bring in some businesses, and we’re trying to make it nice for residential development also,” Spencer said of the village’s plans.

Another upcoming project will provide more improvements to the area around the boat ramp on the Scioto River at Piketon. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has awarded the village a $75,000 Paddling Enhancement Grant to help with these improvements. Improvements will include an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-compliant canoe/kayak launch, as well as sidewalks, parking, and decorative street lights.

Spencer indicated that many people are using the boat ramp every weekend but that the improvements will make it a lot better.

Work on the Square at Piketon, which includes the old Piketon Elementary School, currently under renovation, as well as development of the property around the old school, is still moving forward. Steve Moore is the lead investor for the site. Spencer indicated that a project to provide access to the Square from Route 23 is in the planning stages.

Other projects in the planning stages include new wastewater and water treatment facilities for the village. Spencer said the wastewater plant is planned to be a regional facility that will serve some areas in the county outside the village as well. The new facilities will sit on property the village owns just west of Piketon High School.

Spencer also mentioned that the old Bi-Lo gas station is going to be torn down and cleaned up at no expense to the village. He said the deal is for the Pike County Land Bank to donate that land to the village.

Email at mlucas@newswatchman.com; follow on Twitter @NewsWatchman.

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