Parks Enhancement Plans Underway Thanks to ARPA Funds
When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, the world came to a standstill. Some areas of the economy took a bigger hit than others, but the federal government stepped in to help with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
ARPA offered grant money to every city and county in every state to help combat the effects of the pandemic. Nicholasville was awarded a little more than $8 million.
Commissioners Alex Carter and Patty Teater set plans in motion for some of the funding to be allocated to existing and new parks, as well as downtown Nicholasville. An $800,000 budget was approved to put into renovating parks – as well as creating some new attractions for residents to enjoy.
“The City has made it a priority to enhance our parks for our growing community,” said Carter. “We know people want to see their money at work, and community parks are something they like to utilize. It builds the community up.”
Highlights of the City park updates coming within the next few years:
- A new parking lot will be constructed at the JCYB baseball fields.
- The Riney B. Aquatics Center will reopen this summer with updated filtration systems, necessary repairs and a new overall look.
- The walking trail at Lake Mingo park will be repaved and widened from 3 feet to 8 feet to allow for more foot and bike traffic.
- A splash pad will be added at Lake Mingo Park.
- A multi-purpose turf field – to be used for soccer, football, and more – will be added to John Preece Park.
- There are hopes of hosting outdoor concerts at the Performance Park downtown in the summers.
- An accessible restroom has been added to City County Park.
Along with the splash pad and walking trail expansion, Lake Mingo Park will receive additional parking spaces, new restrooms, and additional lighting. All parks will receive security cameras.
“The splash pad will be an exciting addition to Lake Mingo,” said Doug Blackford, Director of General Government. “It will give kids an opportunity to rip, run, and have some fun!”
“We believe it is important to continue growing with the City, but also focus on the things we have,” said Commissioner Teater. “Allocating funds to bettering our parks, making them safe, clean, and good parks to escape to, felt like the right thing to do for the people in this City.”
Additional funds have been allocated to the downtown area, along with the Downtown Revitalization Grant. The City started working on this in September 2022 and $500,000 of the ARPA funds are dedicated to bringing people downtown by repairing buildings, assisting property owners, and making overall improvements.
Lastly, the City is proud to allocate funds from the Cleaner Water Grant. $2 million will go towards the Water Plant Transmission Main Expansion and $860,000 will go toward sanitary sewer rehabilitation.
“We are very excited about the plans that we have started working on, and proud of the things we have already accomplished,” said Teater. “Stay tuned, Nicholasville, exciting things are coming!”