Sunday, February 04, 2001

State recreation planners may buy land

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        UNION — The Hillside Mobile Home Park has seen better days.

        Several abandoned trailers with broken windows and the hulk of one that burned two months ago occupy part of the 23.42-acre park just west of Big Bone Lick State Park.

        Hillside's value isn't in its looks, but location, on Boat Dock Road (also known as Ky. 1925) near the intersection of Ky. 338.

        The state's Parks and Recreation department in Frankfort has a contract to buy the land from the owner, Jim Hicks of Morningview.

        “We do have an interest in that property,” said Bob Bender, a state official. “Our interest will be contingent on environmental assessments and issues. If there are problems, that will require further discussion in our department and with the Finance Cabinet.”

        One of those problems might be price.

        Mr. Hicks said he is asking $4 million for the land. If the state doesn't want to pay his price, there are other potential uses for his property, he said, such as a gas station, auto-parts store or mobile home or farm equipment sales.

        “It's a good commercial corner right there,” Mr. Hicks said.

        There are a few lingering roadblocks to selling to a commercial developer.

        Mr. Bender said an appraisal

        of the park was done last fall, but he declined to disclose the appraised value.

        The state's land agreement with Mr. Hicks - in which the state says it intends to buy the land - expires in March, said Chris Kellogg, communications director for the state Finance and Administration Cabinet.

        Most of the land isn't zoned for commercial use, said Kevin Wall, director of zoning services at the Boone County Planning Commission office in Burlington.

        Mr. Hicks or a new landowner would have to seek rezoning from the county in order to develop it.


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