The Town of Pulaski’s Kersey Bottom and Case Knife Road Neighborhood is an older working-class community in the Town of Pulaski, comprised of small home clusters and a long straight-line ridge road. The project area was significantly impacted by a tornado in April 2011 and received initial support through a comprehensive recovery program utilizing two $700,000 CDBG Urgent Needs recovery grants, a generous fund of private donations, VDEM grants, owner participation, and volunteer labor.
The Kersey Bottom / Case Knife Road Neighborhood Revitalization Project was designed to address unmet needs of low to moderate income families with housing rehabilitation and infrastructure improvements in the Town’s southwest corner following completion of the Tornado Recovery Projects. The neighborhood topography is characterized both by areas in the floodplain and others with extreme slopes averaging 40%. The houses exhibited a wide range of deficiencies; the streets were poorly constructed due to topography; water and storm drainage facilities were undersized; and remaining abandoned structures were a blighting influence.
The proposed improvement plan focused on the rehabilitation of houses in conjunction with water, stormwater drainage, and street improvements. Abandoned properties were targeted for acquisition, demolition, construction of new infill housing, and home ownership creation to preserve the neighborhood.
Implementation of the project is well underway; Phase I was completed with a 2015 CDBG construction grant of $800,000 and Phase II is underway with an additional $600,000 in 2017 CDBG funds. The total project budget is $1.7 million, utilizing Town funds and contributions from partners New River Valley HOME Consortium, Habitat for Humanity, Southeast RCAP, and local manufacturer James Hardie Building Products. Seventeen (17) homes will be rehabilitated or substantially reconstructed, two (2) homes constructed for new home owners, and six (6) blighted units are targeted for demolition.