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McCracken Fiscal Court approves Carson Park plans

BY KATHLEEN FOXkfox@paducahsun.com

The McCracken Fiscal Court heard about several grants awarded for work to Carson Park and approved the updated plans Monday night.

Stephanie Sheppard, Carson Park Board of Directors treasurer, presented an edited to scale design for the park improvements. The Fiscal Court unanimously voted to adopt the capital improvement plan. She said the timeline for the work depends on fundraising and immediate needs for the next fiscal year will be discussed in the Fiscal Court's budget workshop Wednesday night.

She said the board has received two grants - each for about $200,000 for work on the park - and awaits a third grant. The Fiscal Court voted in March 2013 to provide 50 percent matches to the Carson Park board for two state-issued grants from the Recreational Trails Program from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The updates would include work to the outdoor riding arena, equestrian trails, therapeutic riding facility and indoor boarding facility and a new concession stand. She said the updates are meant to modernize the park and make it more accessible to children and 4-H clubs while maintaining the historic legacy.

The county-owned Carson Park, located on Joe Clifton Drive at 28th and Madison streets, is home to the county fair and various other events each year.

In other meeting business Monday, the Fiscal Court heard the first reading of a budget amendment for funding to go toward the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Property Acquisition Project. The board previously approved the recommended bids for demolition and site restoration of the properties damaged by flooding in spring 2011 and payment to Western Kentucky Title for four properties.

In 2011, the court agreed to contribute up to $100,000 to the program, which aims to buy properties that experienced more than 50 percent damage to homes. The county has closed on three of the 12 properties and hopes to close on the other nine by July 1, according to Judge-Executive Van Newberry.

The Fiscal Court briefly discussed the two bids for the county's information service (IT) contract. Current provider Kalleo Technologies of Paducah and KeeFORCE of Symsonia offered proposals. The court met in workshop session last week to review the documents.

The county has used Kalleo Technologies for its computer and phone systems since August 2010 following the end of a city-county partnership that split the cost evenly for in-house IT services.

Commissioner Jerry Beyer made a motion to accept the low bid from Kalleo Technologies but didn't receive a second.

The item was then placed on the next Fiscal Court agenda after Commissioner Zana Renfro asked to table the decision to have additional time to review the documents.

Newberry also presented a proclamation that April 25 will be William T. Carneal Day. Pvt. First Class Carneal, a native of McCracken County, died during the Battle of Saipan, more than 70 years ago, at age 24. A memorial service for Carneal will be held April 25, his birthday, at Palestine United Methodist Church in western McCracken County.

The board also approved the appointment of five residents to the McCracken County Property Maintenance Enforcement Board of Appeals. The court discussed naming Mike Thomasson to the new volunteer position of search and rescue coordinator for Paducah and McCracken County but decided to table the discussion until Emergency Management Director Jerome Mansfield was present to answer questions.

Contact Kathleen Fox a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651, or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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