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Hawes Park could have been so much more | News

Hawes Park could have been so much more | News 2020-10-15Leave a comment

electrical mountain bike Hawes Park may have been a lot extra | Information

Right this moment, Ben Hawes Park is a quiet metropolis park with wooded mountain climbing and biking trails, a golf course, ball fields, picnic shelters, a Cleaning soap Field Derby observe and a playground.

But it surely may have been a lot extra.

It was Christmas Eve 1974.

And Kentucky Gov. Wendell H. Ford, who was about to go away workplace to take his newly gained seat within the U.S. Senate, got here dwelling to Owensboro with a gift.

The state had simply purchased the 10-year-old Ben Hawes Park for $782,920, he mentioned.

The park, Ford mentioned, can be expanded to 1,400 acres with a lodge, using stables, cottages and campgrounds.

The preliminary part would price $2.75 million, with the finished park costing $6 million to $7 million.

Ford instructed a information convention that the state would broaden the park to 1,400 acres, linking it with a marina to be constructed on the Ohio River close to Little Hurricane Island.

However on Dec. 30, 1974, Gov. Julian Carroll, on his third day in workplace, froze all state development cash for 90 days.

In July 1976, the Carroll administration accomplished its $15,000 examine of the park’s wants and proposed a $1 million wave pool there.

It will have been the fourth within the nation.

The one concept of Ford’s that stayed within the state plans was a campground with 100 websites.

Solely 75 to 100 acres of extra land can be wanted for that, the examine mentioned.

However the campground was by no means added, and the wave pool hit a monetary snag as prices rose to $1.6 million.

So, the wave pool concept was shelved in October 1979.

Within the early Eighties, Gov. John Y. Brown Jr.’s administration shifted the cash Ford had left for Hawes Park to different accounts.

By means of the years, metropolis officers pushed Frankfort to enhance the park.

However the cash was by no means discovered.

In 1991, a growth plan ready by the College of Kentucky’s School of Enterprise and Economics referred to as for spending $8.5 million on the park — together with $2.4 million to purchase 870 adjoining acres.

That plan, which might have been achieved in phases, referred to as for the event of a 30-acre swimming lake and a 120-acre lake with a floating dock with 20 boat slips.

Pedal boats, small sailboats and fishing boats with electrical motors would be capable of use the lake, the plan mentioned.

It referred to as for 16 semi-primitive campsites, 20 RV campsites, extra mountain climbing trails and a number of other primitive campsites for scouting teams.

There was additionally a 250-seat outside theater or “campfire assembly space” together with extra restrooms and picnic pavilions.

And the plan referred to as for a brand new park entrance to the east of the present entrance, a horse secure with 16 stalls and 5 miles of using trails.

The examine additionally proposed creating an overlook on the north facet of the park and constructing 20 cabins.

In 1999, metropolis and county officers touted a plan so as to add 250 acres to the park, bringing whole acreage to 547.

They wished the land for use so as to add a 15-acre lake for fishing and boating, 50 campsites with utilities, a primitive campground, mountain climbing and mountain-bike trails, a coal mining museum utilizing an unique mine shaft entrance, three picnic shelters, showers and restrooms, a playground, a commons space for nighttime group actions, parking and a ship ramp.

Once more, it by no means occurred.

However by 2003, a four-mile collection of interconnecting mountain climbing and biking trails had been constructed and the state had added 260 acres on the west facet of the park.

Lastly, in 2010, the town purchased the park and the state workplace constructing downtown from the state.

They wished the constructing for what’s now the Bluegrass Music Corridor of Fame & Museum however needed to take the park to get the constructing.

So, as soon as once more, Ben Hawes grew to become a metropolis park.

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