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Discussions ongoing for proposed Rowan County park

Kennealy Jenkins

City and county officials are in talks to place a sprawling outdoor recreation complex on a 260-acre plot recently purchased by the Rowan County Fiscal Court.

The land is located near the AppHarvest Greenhouse on KY 801. Judge Executive Harry Clark said the planned park will not replace any current parks or facilities.

“The county’s not ready to step forward and go into the park business. What we are ready to do is provide some property and whatever financially we can provide. But, at the end of the day, I want to roll this into the city’s park and recreation department,” he said. “They’re the experts, they’re going to do the scheduling. They’re going to do whatever they need to do with whatever we create out here.”

John Steinmetz is a Senior Engineer with Banks Engineering, the group currently contracting with Morehead-Rowan County Tourism. He said while the park is still in the early stages, there is plenty of work to be done to keep the ball rolling.

“I assume the next step would be some kind of, whether it’s your group or some public involvement, there be some inventory of what’s here and a needs inventory – a needs assessment. And then you can pare that list down to things, and then I think you can look for some in-place examples,” Steinmetz said.

Rowan County’s Recreational Board recently met to discuss the possibilities for the land. Several options have been proposed, including communal gardens, a dog park, community green space, and walking trails across the property. Additionally, officials said the property includes two large ponds that would be ideal for fishing.

Officials said the land is closed to the public while plans are still being discussed.