* * * FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE * * *
ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION MEETING FOR AURORA-KENLAKE HELD
Marshall County Farmers Market Will Open May 7 & 8 In Aurora
Will Continue Every Weekend Through Summer
On Monday, April 19, 2010, an Economic Development Revitalization Meeting was held at Kenlake State Resort about the future of the Aurora-Kenlake area. Mr. Martin “Bob” Metzger, a retired business executive from Pirates Cove Resort and Chairman of the Marshall County Farmers Market & Open Air Trade Market soon opening in Aurora in May headed the meeting to bring together business owners and public officials. Metzger is a former successful business owner for 40 years and served on many committees and organizations. He is currently the Vice-President of the Owners Association of Pirates Cove Resort Inc and Senior Coordinator of the Pirates Cove Resort Neighborhood Watch Association. Also attending the meeting were Marshall County Judge Executive Mike Miller, Marshall County Economic Director, Josh Tubbs, and State Representative Will Coursey. Also attending the meeting were many other candidates for office in Marshall County including Troy DeFew, Jimmie Tubbs, Troy English, and Rory Brewer as well as a representative from Mayor Randall Scott's office in Hardin, KY. Also in attendance were Aurora -Ross Fire Chief Rick Sirls and his wife Marsha and Kenlake State Resort Park Manager, John Rittenhouse and many local business owners.
Mr. Metzger also recognized and Thanked the candidates attending the meeting. He also recognized and Thanked JW Davis, for helping organize the meeting as well as organizing, planning and working very hard for the upcoming Marshall County Farmers Market to make it a success. The market will be opening at the Aurora Visitors Center grounds on May 7 & 8. Davis serves as the Farmers Market Manager. JW Davis has been working on organizing and planning the Marshall County Farmers Market since last November with the help of Secretary Sally Carter of the Jonathon Aurora Action Committee (JAAC). “This has really been a joy to organize and plan. I owe a lot of effort and success for this project to Sally Carter of JAAC for her positive and overwhelming support and influence. The Marshall County Farmers Market is basically evolving into an event that could have a major economic impact on the revitalization strategy of the Aurora-Kenlake area,” Davis said. “I believe this could be a potential and positive first step in securing this community on its way to economic revitalization that could benefit not only this area of Marshall County, but the nearby Kenlake and Land Between the Lakes region” Davis said. “In addition to that, this Market will allow local farmers and sellers to offer their products to the people of this area, and they can appreciate and enjoy the quality of what they have to offer as well as supporting our local farmers not only in Marshall County, but adjoining counties” Davis said. “This project is being developed as a two-pronged event, the Farmers Market portion of it and the Open Air Trade Market, which will allow local business owners and entrepreneurs to sell other merchandise they have available” he said. JW Davis is a Security Official for GuardMaster Security Services, a Personal and Property Protection company. GuardMaster also does organizational and event planning. Davis was also the Security Safety Coordinator for the Pirates Cove Resort community and is currently the Pirates Cove Resort Neighborhood Watch Association Safety Coordinator. He is also a volunteer firefighter with the Aurora-Ross Fire Department and Hardin-South Marshall Fire Department. Davis is also a member of the Marshall County First Responders Alliance and the Jonathon Aurora Action Committee. He is also a candidate for Constable in the First District in Marshall County. “Its true I have a full plate to feast on, but I enjoy every minute of it” he said.
Mike Miller spoke for a few minutes about the willingness of the areas business owners and action committee organizations to work together to make an economic revitalization plan become reality. “It is time for the areas organizations and business owners to work together to reach a positive conclusion in economically revitalizing the Aurora-KenLake area, similar to what we experienced years ago,” Miller said. “I can remember a time when Kenlake had a beach that was packed constantly every weekend. It was one of “the” places to be. That could also be part of an economic revitalization for this area again but that depends on the state” Miller said. “We can have that kind of area again and work with the state if we all put our minds to it and work together to achieve that, and the county would be fully behind the effort and will work in any way we can to help achieve it” he said. “I can remember a time when the Aurora-Kenlake region was a booming area. I grew up in this region, so naturally I am fond of it, but I know for a fact that this area of Kentucky has some of the most breathtaking and beautiful views of the lake and some of the best scenic wonders anywhere,” Miller said. “If we can work on contacting organizations to obtain grants from and work towards some of the goals we will talk about today, my office has two fantastic grant-writers who can put the proposals together so that we can move forward and accomplish the economic goals we wish to achieve,” he said. Miller also spoke about the need to build a new fire station for the Aurora-Ross Fire Department and about the grant that has been submitted to achieve that goal.
Fire Chief Rick Sirls discussed the need to locate a Marshall County EMS Ambulance at the new fire station when it is built.
About 50 anxious and ambitious people attended the meeting, from county officials and dignitaries to Aurora-Kenlake area business owners.
Metzger then had those in attendance to break up into focus groups and brainstorm ideas on how to further economically revitalize the Aurora-Kenlake region. After about 30 minutes, a spokesperson from every focus group came forward and wrote down their ideas for everyone to see. Each person from that group spoke about why their ideas could benefit the revitalization of the area and region. “I have found out, over the years of serving on different committees and organizations, that when you get people to talk and work together in groups, you can get some wonderful and awesome ideas of how to move forward,” he said. “In addition to that, you can have the benefit of people truly working together for the common good of the community and that can lead down a path to unstoppable success,” Metzger said. “Don't underestimate the power of the people working together to achieve anything they put their minds to,” he said.
One of the biggest ideas and one that gained the most favor as a revitalization project for the area was to revitalize and re-open the Kenlake Beach, Concession area and bath-house area. That appears to be the next major project for the area to accomplish. Business owners in the immediate area said if that could be accomplished,it would definitely get more tourism and area residents into the area. Some of the other ideas the groups put forward included improvements to the sewer systems and street lights for the community.
Also mentioned were incorporating into a city, hosting annual events, improvements to Kenlake, bike trails, additional boat launches in the marina area, more parking, converting the tennis building in Kenlake into a Convention Center, building a water-park, building more hotel rooms, improving the Kenlake amphitheater by building a band shell and stage area so that performers could be protected from the weather. Other ideas put forth were hosting more events such as annual fishing tournaments, annual boat show, annual county music hoedown, annual gospel music shows, annual coin shows, and annual stamps shows.
Also discussed was the formation of a Friends of Kenlake Committee or the formation of the Kenlake/Aurora Economic Development Council. “In the coming month's we plan on meeting with many business leaders and owners, as well as local, county and state officials to discuss and move forward with at least a half-dozen projects to make these ideas a reality,” Metzger said. “In addition to that we will be contacting and seeking out interested organizations and parties to carry forward this economic revitalization plan for this area to make the Aurora-Kenlake and Land Between the Lakes area a major tourist attraction and an area where people would want to live and raise their families,” he said.
These topics and more will be discussed at the next Economic Revitalization meeting on Monday, May 17, 2010 at Kenlake State Resort Park hotel.
For addtional comments or questions on this press release,
please contact the council at 270.205.4187.