Next month will mark the second anniversary of Fiscal Court purchasing the land for our new Recreational and Services Park. About that same time a group of 20 dedicated citizens representing various interests including youth sports, our schools, our seniors, service agencies, and local government formulated a plan for which to develop the park. It is my pleasure to report to you that a significant portion of that plan has been implemented or is in progress.
If you drive out to the new park, and I hope you do, here is what you will find: The Henry County Senior Center and Tri County Community Action Agency building is complete and serving our residents. Two regulation soccer fields and a youth football field have been constructed and new grass has been sewn. They will be ready for play next fall. Approximately one mile of walking track is in place and ready for the public to use and will be paved in the spring. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Game stocked the lake this week with blue gill and catfish and will bring large mouth bass in the spring. Fishing will be allowed in 2010.
There are several other projects that you will see in the near future. Fiscal Court’s plans are to soon bid out a bathroom/concession stand/shelter building to be built next to the new ball fields. The City of New Castle anticipates bidding out the sewer line extension to the new park by the end of this year. Cedar Lake Lodge is finalizing its plans to locate at the park and have expressed that they would like to close on the property by the end of year with construction to begin in 2009. Recently, Friends for Michael kicked off their fundraising drive for the “all accessible” playground. The plans are to complete the playground by summer of 2009. The drawings have been released for the facility and I feel confident there are few, if any, rural communities in the state that will have anything to match it.
By now you may be asking yourself who is doing all of this work and how is the county affording all of this? That is the best part of this report. Other than the initial purchase of the land and a few thousand dollars for grass seed, the county has been out little on this entire project. Bowen Excavating built the fields in trade for fill dirt for the new high school addition. The walking track will be made possible by a $50,000 Recreational Trails Grant awarded by Governor Beshear. The county road department did a first rate job in designing and building the track. The sewer line will be built with a $400,000 state allocation made possible by the hard work of Rick Rand and Ernie Harris in last year’s General Assembly. The county will get enough from the sale of the property to Cedar Lake to pay for the restroom/concession building. The approximate 30 new jobs and valuable service Cedar Lake is bringing will be of even greater benefit. Friends for Micheal and its Director Cindy Norton are determined to raise the $100,000 plus for the playground and are already halfway there. If you would like to donate to the playground please contact Cindy Norton at (502) 396-3214.
If it sounds like everything is clicking along, it is. If it sounds like everyone is working together, we are. As was said at the ground breaking for the Michael Brent playground last spring, God has his hand in this one.
If you would like more information about the park you may contact parks Director William Peyton or myself at the Judge/Executives office at 845-5707 or you may also contact magistrates Nick Hawkins and David Brown who serve on the park committee.