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Trimble County Park

Expansion plans require
creative financing, officials say

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

BEDFORD, Ky. (March 2005) – Trimble County Judge-Executive Randy Stevens is trying to find a way to afford upgrades and expansion of the Trimble County Park without overtaxing residents.

Randy Stevens

Randy Stevens

The park, located on Hwy. 421, comprises more than 100 acres. The original 24 acres were purchased 25 years ago. An additional 16 acres were added, and then the Trimble County Fiscal Court purchased 80 acres three years ago.
It now consists of two ball fields, which are really sized for T-ball leagues, said Stevens. Ideally, the park should consist of two adolescent or adult-sized ball fields, a regular-size football field for youth tackle and flag football teams, a sand volleyball court, a new horse arena, a pull area for truck and tractor pulls, and a building for storage and concessions.
For a community that taxes so little, it is a large capital project, said Stevens. Bids will open March 18. Bidders will have the county’s permission to survey the land.
Strand Associates, Inc. Engineers was hired to draft a master plan in March 2004. This regrading project will help improve the quality of life for the community and the city, said Clay Kelly, Engineer and Business Develop-ment spokesman.
“The vision for the park is to create a facility that will provide the opportunity for families to stay in Trimble County for sports events, horse-related events and Sunday afternoons of throwing a football back and forth,” Kelly said.
Kelly is project manager for the ongoing sewer expansion project in Bedford. “He understands the county’s financial plan and its limits,” said Stevens.
Officials from Strand Associates have met with Fiscal Court over this project, and Stevens said ideas could still be incorporated or left out of the final design. Based on the county’s description of its vision for a county park, Strand Associates have developed a plan they think is feasible for all concerned.
Cost for the project hinges on determining the depth of rock at the site. The cost could increase if rock is excavated deep in the soil; the cost could be reduced if a more shallow depth of the rock is discovered. The proposed site is slightly east of the existing park amenities.
County officials will accept bids for construction once the project is bid and the ground is regraded to specifications need to expand the park. Once the ground has been graded, a new storm sewer system will be installed. Stevens wants to make sure adequate drainage will factor in to the project. If a field were to drain onto another field, or flood out a concession stand, that would defeat the purpose, said Stevens.
Due to funding constraints, Kelly said Strand Associates agreed that a phased approach would be better. Rather than bidding the project out in its entirety, bidding it out in phases would enable the county more time to fund each project in installments.
Strand Associates has given the county a visual to take to funding agencies, said Kelly. Funding is being sought in a variety of ways: Baseball Tomorrow, local volunteer groups and groups interested in the horse industry. Funding may also be sought through Kentucky State Land and Water grants, federal parks grants and local industries.
The county’s goal is to recover financially from the purchase price. The county will “spend the money as it comes in,” said Stevens. He hopes to return tax money to the public, and not risk financial dire straits to build ball fields. The project will be “looked at in a methodical way,” he said.

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