Friday, August 31, 2001

Boone Co. park has momentum


County, school board venture taking shape

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        VERONA — The Boone County Fiscal Court and Walton-Verona Board of Education are moving forward with plans to develop the first park in far southern Boone County.

        The two organizations met Thursday to get input on the park from residents in and around Verona, the southern Boone County community where it will be built.

        Officials will now begin drafting a formal agreement between the county and the school board as well as planning what type of facilities will be developed in the park, Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore said Thursday.

        Details, including cost and the timetable for construction, must still be worked out, he said, but it's likely the park will be built next year.

        “When I was campaigning for office (in 1998) I heard a great deal from people in and around Verona that they were not getting the same attention as the rest of the county,” Mr. Moore said.

        “Since taking office, we've tried to expand more services to that part of the county; and building this park in Verona is a great step in that direction,” he said.

        Boone County is the second-fastest growing county in Kentucky, based on 2000 U.S. Census figures. School officials expect the Walton-Verona school population to jump from 1,000 students this year to 1,500 in five years.

        The 61-acre park will be built on a 117-acre parcel owned by developers Ron and Brenda Tackett of Warsaw on Ky. 14 near Interstate 71. The school board is preparing to purchase the land for $1.628 million.

        A new high school will be built adjacent to the park in five to eight years, Walton-Verona Superintendent Robert Storer said Thursday.

        The park will be used by residents as well as by students and athletes at the planned high school.

        “We're very excited, because it is something that will be mutually beneficial,” Mr. Storer said. “We'll not only have a nice park, but we can use it for educational and school uses as well. Since there is no park in southern Boone County, we see this as a wonderful opportunity.”

        Though details are not final, park features are expected to include:

        • Two or more athletic fields that could be used for soccer or other sports.

        • Basketball, volleyball and tennis courts.

        • Horseshoe pits.

        • A walking trail.

        • A parking lot, picnic shelter and restrooms.

        Mr. Moore said it's likely that because the school board is providing the land, the county will pay for the park's infrastructure, including a road into the property andextending water lines to the park.

       



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