Moving Forward

Carrollton mayor endorses
master plan for long-awaited park

Project to cost $14 million,
include entertainment options

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (November 2011) – Carrollton Mayor Gene McMurry says he is pleased with the way things are looking for the expansion of Point Park. With everything seeming to fall into place, work on this long-term project may finally begin this year.
The Point Park master plan was revealed in September by Lose & Associates at a Carrollton City Council meeting. “It has everything at the time that I thought would make it functional,” said McMurry. The plan incorporates many options for entertaining and activities for all ages.

Mayor Gene McMurry

"There’s no other place that has been developed that has two rivers coming together."
– Carrollton Mayor Gene McMurry

Amenities will include a river walk, splash park, playground area, outdoor amphitheatre, a multi-purpose pavilion, boat launch accessibility, areas for playing basketball and volleyball, trails, river lookout, dog park, many native trees and landscaping.
“It will even include history,” said McMurry.
Markers will be placed along the river walk that relates the history of Port William, the original name of Carrollton.
He admits that installing a $15 million park is “an ambitious goal, but it’s something we’ve needed for a long time. With the help of the citizens of the community and council members, it can be completed in a reasonable time.”
Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson agreed that “although this is a city project, when you look at the totality of the cost of what that master plan will cost, it is an ambitious project” that will affect the county.
McMurry wants to see work on the river walk portion started this year. “Everyone is anticipating this,” he said. The master plan recommends various activities centered on the Fourth and Fifth Street sections. Work will most likely begin at Point Park and extend toward the Two Rivers RV Park, which is located along the Kentucky River heading south.
While the main focus of this project is to develop the downtown riverfront area, another major factor that has been incorporated is access to the Ohio River. A dock or bulkhead will be constructed for river traffic, with walls placed against the bank as it slopes down to the river.
Water Street is slated to become a focal point as a scenic drive through and event space. The master plan suggests a pavilion with benches and ornamental paving for the intersection of Fourth and Main Streets. An amphitheater will be placed between Second and Third Streets. The plan addresses additional concerns, such as increased traffic flow and additional parking along the Kentucky River.
The convenient thing about the master plan is that it can be completed in three to four different phases, McMurry said. This is a long-term project that he expects to take five to ten years to complete.
The project will be funded mainly through grant money. McMurry is meeting with a group in November and hopes to get $2 million to begin the project.
Once the city reaches 501 c(3) status as a tax exempt entity, “we can go to foundations for funding,” he said. Fundraising efforts need to be implemented, and there are a number of properties that have no titles.
“This has to be cleared up before we can purchase more land.”
Tomlinson said that the city is putting great strides forward on this project and has managed to begin work on the RV park during a difficult time. “It is now economically more challenging to make it work,” he said. Tomlinson thinks the total estimated cost of $15 million is on “the very conservative side.”
The county has no plans to contribute to the project at this time, said Tomlinson. “We may help with in-kind labor, or lend equipment, but no one from the city has contacted us for funding.”
McMurry said he intends for the park to be a destination area. Coupled with the Two Rivers RV Park, such things as an amphitheatre will provide more opportunities for live performances. “It will open up the area to a lot more activities, like concerts, and art groups.”
Tomlinson especially likes the idea of a river walk in the downtown area. He said that it is something local people would utilize a bit more than tourists. He would also like to see more shops developed in the downtown area to compliment the river walk.
“The location of this park makes it unique,” McMurry said. “There’s no other place that has been developed that has two rivers coming together.”

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