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Enlightened Mayor Sees RV Park Key to Growth

January 6, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Topographical map of Carrollton, Ky. The Ohio River crosses the center of the map. The Kentucky River enters the Ohio at Carrollton. Gen. Butler State Resort Park is on the city's southeast side.

Former Carroll County Judge-Executive Gene McMurry formally added a new title to his resume: mayor of Carrollton, Ky.

And among one of his orders of business is talking to the Carroll County Community Development Corp. about possible grants to install an RV park on the Liter property downtown along the riverfront, The News Democrat, Carrollton, reported.

Creating the RV park is a top priority in McMurry’s plan to revitalize the riverfront in downtown Carrollton, an Ohio River community of 4,000 located midway between Cincinnati and Louisville..

“The RV park is something that I think we need to do as soon as possible because I think it is a key to a lot of other things in the downtown area,” he said. “(It) is something that will generate income immediately; It will start drawing people into the downtown area immediately. The state park (Gen. Butler State Resort Park) has overflow constantly.”

McMurry said Rising Sun, Ind. has an RV park similar to what he has in mind, and he is going to visit their city officials to talk to them about it. Also, while attending the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) orientation meeting Jan. 26-28, he is going to talk to other mayors whose cities have RV parks and make plans to visit them.

McMurry said he envisions Carrollton’s RV park to be about 40 units — 10 large units that will require sewers and 30 smaller units that will require a dump station. He wants the area to be well-landscaped and to have a nice bathhouse. He did not think it would take very long to put together once the plan is developed and the electrical stands are purchased.

“We have a nice place here,” McMurry said. “We have two rivers; We’ve got a beautiful place. We can make a walkway along the river. There is no reason we can’t have a good RV park.”

If he can build the RV park, McMurry thinks he can get one new business to open in the area along with it. He said he has spoken to one local person and one in Trimble County about possibly opening a small grocery store downtown.

McMurry said if the RV park opens, campers will need a place downtown to purchase necessary items. Also, hopefully, it will allow the city to hold more functions at Point Park, bringing more people who will want to buy soft drinks, etc. from the grocery. McMurry said there is also a group of people who live in the city that either have no way or no easy way to get to Kroger or Wal-Mart on Hwy. 227. He said having the small grocery would help provide most of their needs.

“I think if I can get one good (business) like that started, I think it will make it easier to pull in some other businesses that might follow and come along with it,” McMurry said. “(Councilman) Adam Raker had the idea, ‘Let’s concentrate on one business and see if we can get one good business downtown. If we can get one good one, then we can prove to people that it is viable to do.’ So that’s what I’m following up on is his idea, which makes good sense.”

In addition to the RV park, McMurry would like to see a water park along the riverfront and an attractive walkway under the Prestonville bridge. The Liter property already has a lookout built, and hiking trails could be added. “If we got it, we’re going to use it, but we’ve got to do it in such a manner that we know that water is going to get over it at least once a year, maybe twice a year, so we have to put things in that will not be damaged by overflow.”

As mayor, McMurry said he will be an active member with the Northern Kentucky Area Development District board and the KLC because that is where the grant funding comes from. He will also attend meetings for the local organizations such as CCCDC and the Main Street Program because they are essential to getting things done in town.

“… The basic thing I tell everybody is we’re going to have fun. City government is going to be a fun place to work, but we’re going to accomplish things too,” he said.

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