From the Marshall County Times newspaper - 05.21.2010
SECOND KENLAKE-AURORA ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION MEETING HELD
Aurora, KY - The second meeting of the Kentucky Lake Economic Development Council was held on Monday, May 17, 2010 at the Kenlake State Park Hotel. Marshall County Judge Executive Mike Miller, Sheirff Kevin Byars and First District County Commissioner Bob Gold attended the meeting along with Aurora business owners and leaders as well as the Jonathon Aurora Action Committee (JAAC) President. Other members of the JACC organization also attended. Also attending the meeting was George Sholar, Chairman of the Friends of Cherokee Park, John Rittenhouse, Manager of Kenlake State Park, JW Davis, Marshall County Farmers Market Organizer and Market Manager, Randy Newcomb, Marshall County Tourism Director, as well as Rory Brewer, candidate for County Commissioner in the First District.
Martin "Bob" Metzger, chairman of the Marshall County Farmers Market and Outdoor Open Air Trade Market MC'd the event. The meeting started off with an introduction of the 27 attendees going around introducing themselves.
Discussion moved into the Nuisance Abatement Law currently in place in Marshall County. Sheriff Kevin Byars discussed with the audience on future efforts to upgrade the current law in placeto give the county more "teeth" to enforce properties that are abandoned, littered with trash and debris and left in ruin. Metzger discussed that to properly move forward with economic development in the Kenlake-Aurora area, these types of properties must be cleaned up.
The meeting moved forward with those in attendance marking ballots choosing between six major revitalization projects out of 23 projects that they felt were the most important to concentrate in the Kenlake-Aurora area.
The six most important projects chosen were: 1. Reopening the Kenlake Beach area, 2. Additional Kenlake Marina Boat Ramp/Construction/Upgrade, 3. It was a tie between more signs being installed on Hwy 80/68 with information of whats in Kenlake-Aurora area, more Rallies, Fishing Tournaments 7 Festivals being held in the area, and eliminating empty vacant buildings by enforcing the county nuisance ordnance, 4. was a tie between upgrading the Kenlake Amphitheater and upgrading the Tennis building into a Convention Center, 5. was a tie between better accomodations and deals for fishermen attending tournaments, upgrading and facelifting the Aurora downtown area with streetlights and sidewalks as well as upgrading the sewer system, cleaning up ice storm damange to Cherokee Park, more business development in the Kenlake-Aurora area, promoting the area better through the Chamber of Commerce, monitoring the finish of the new Barkley Lake and Kentucky Lake bridges over the water and obtaining a mini-mall to the area, 6. building a new Aurora/Ross Fire Station with an ambulance or EMS service located at the new fire station, including a new fire boat for Kentucky Lake in this district, keeping the bank in the area, and changing the Aurora County Festival date so it does not conflict with other festivals in the region.
Marshall County Judge Executive Mike Miller spoke about the possibility of the Marshall County Farmers Market expanding over time and growing and about the positive aspect of these various projects moving forward.
The last part of the meeting centered on the creation of the Kentucky Lake Economic Development Council.
Metzger explained this council and the Kenlake-Aurora Economic Revitalization project was born as a result of the opening of the Marshall County Farmers Market and a greater desire by business owners and county officials to develope the Kenlake-Aurora region into an area that would attract more tourismand business to the region.
Many attendee's signed up to be on the council. The council is looking for other interested business owners, area leaders and officials to join the organization if interested.
The next meeting of the council will be at the Kenlake State Park Hotel on Tuesday at 7:00 pm.