Lawrence County's Vargo happy with new law
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 17, 2017) – Governor Matt Bevin recently signed into law a measure to allow state parks and fairs to be sponsored by private entities interested in investing in Kentucky tourism. Sponsored by Rep. Steve Riley, R-Glasgow, House Bill 484 will provide more flexibility in the way state parks are operated and improved.
With Kentucky’s parks facing limited funding in recent years, Rep. Riley’s bill will enable private companies to help our state’s parks in various areas, including much-needed repairs and improvements.
Lawrence County Economic Development Director, Catrina Vargo said she is glad to finally see this bill passed.
"We have been working on a large tourism project involving a private investor for the last 2 years. When we sent it to the state, it was put on hold due to revisions that had to be made to this bill. Now that it has passed, I hope our project will pick up a little speed."
Ms. Vargo added that public-private partnership is a very effective tool when developing new business, especially in the tourism industry.
Vargo also commented on House Bill 156, that was also just signed by the Governor, which will create the Kentucky Mountain Regional Recreation Authority.
"I am very excited about this project, too. The goal is to develop and connect trails in eastern KY to existing trails in VA and WV."
Vargo represents Lawrence County on a 9 county coalition board which will be part of the KMRRA.
"We had a meeting on this a couple months ago and what trail authorities have been able to do for small towns in VA and WV is amazing. A small WV town of only 400 has seen tremendous success in the 10 years since a trailhead opened there. We can expect the same thing here, however, theirs has been open for 10 years, so it will take some time."