After devestating floods in 2007 and 2008, the Crawford County village of Gays Mills has taken the first physical step, towards building itself anew. About 50 Gays Mills residents, along with federal, state, and local government representatives gathered Friday morning for the ground breaking

The site for the new Gays Mills is located just north, and more importantly, uphill of the old village. After suffering through the two consecutive years of Kickapoo River flooding, longtime resident and village barber Robert Lee says it’s still a hard decision to move his business. But he says he wants to be a part of the new village. “The reality is, there will be a flood again some day,” says Lee. “We gotta get outta here.”

Gays Mills recovery coordinator Julie Henley was also on hand for the groundbreaking. She says this is a chance for a truly new Gays Mills. “We can expand and develop our unique charector to have not just our home town, but a vibrant home town,” says Henley.

The project, with lots for homes, businesses, and government buildings, is estimated to cost $13-million-dollars. It’s expected people will be able to start moving up in 2010.

WVRQ’s John Helgeson submitted this report

AUDIO: John Helgeson reports (1:30 MP3)

Share the News