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Next Phase

Carrollton moves forward
with riverfront, Splash Park

Riverwalk, RV campground
also part of city’s initiatives

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (June 2012) – The City of Carrollton is moving forward with multiple improvement projects. A trio of projects are expected to bring more visitors and residents alike to the downtown area.
Two proposals have been presented recently for a splash park project. Louisville-based companies, Recreonics and Bluegrass Recreational Products, have made presentations to the city council, pointing out the advantages each possess in terms of this project.
“This is something that in public meetings everybody said it was important to them,” said Carrollton Major Gene McMurry. The Splash Park would be an amenity to two more projects that have already been started: a riverwalk and an RV campground.

Gene McMurry

McMurry

McMurry said he has consulted with Jane Brown of the state Health Department about the idea of a Splash Park and what that would encompass. Brown, based in Bowling Green, Ky., has passed along to McMurry cost-saving ideas. “We also wanted to know how to handle the water,” on which Brown made suggestions, he said.
McMurry said he has traveled to Manchester to view an actual splash park. “This gave me a better idea of what to do,” he said.
To help pay for the estimated $159,500 Splash Park, a Land and Water Conservation grant had to be submitted by Monday, April 30, to Frankfort. The grant application is being written for the City of Carrollton by Joan Moore, Carroll County Community Development Corp.’ executive director. The amount of funding applied for is $60,000, she said.
“Additional money is needed,” Moore said. Money has been pledged and donated by individuals and corporations. It will be the end of June before the city knows if they have received this grant or not, she said.
“We have commitments for half of what we need,” said McMurry. “The community is supporting us.” The city needed a community donation totaling $45,000 to even apply for the grant.
Moore is confident about receiving the money. “I believe the community has wanted this for a number of years,” she said. “People tell us all the time they would like to have a Splash Park for their kids.”
She said this free public water feature will be great for parents and children who can’t afford to go elsewhere. For people with kids who visit the Two Rivers RV Campgrounds, it will serve a dual purpose, said Moore.
The campground has been an ongoing project for the city for some time as well. It opened the first weekend in May to local campers with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held May 4. It officially opened to the public on May 7.
Local resident Denny Batts has been hired as campground manager, said McMurry, as well as a part-time maintenance employee. Online reservations will be handled by Hercules Co.
Rates for RV campers were settled at a previous city council meeting. The cost for staying Sunday through Thursday will be $35. On Friday and Saturday it will be $40. For special events, such as racing weekends at the Kentucky Speedway, cost will be $50 per day.
“Work still needs to be done on the campground equipment,” said McMurry. Plumbing was approved April 26 and a final walkthrough completed May 3.
A temporary path is being installed from the Two Rivers RV Campground to Point Park. A permanent river walk has yet to be completed. It will extend beyond this point to Fourth Street. The total estimated cost so far for the river walk project is $450,000.   
“Everything we do is interrelated,” said McMurry. “We want to offer a variety of things for campers to do.”
McMurry said he wants to wrap up some of these current projects before tackling a new project like the splash park. McMurry also believes the completion of the riverwalk project will encourage more businesses to locate in the downtown area. McMurry said he wants to complete some of these current projects first, before tackling a new project like the Splash Park.
Meantime, a July 4 family celebration is being planned for Point Park. It will begin Tuesday evening and continue all day on July 4, ending with fireworks. Inflatables, music, food, flea market, arts and crafts, and a cruise-in by the Kentucky Krusiers are all on the schedule for this event.

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