LOUISA, KY. — District 1 magistrate John Scaggs has been given the job of “point man” in Lawrence County’s joint effort to establish a multi-county recreation trail similar to the Hatfield-McCoy trail in W.Va. which spans hundreds of miles.
Scaggs told the court that $5,000 was needed as Lawrence County’s part of hiring a director for the Mountain Regional Recreational Authority which will be in charge of creating the trails with as many as 37 trails near Lawrence County which will be part of efforts to draw tourism.
The director will be paid $45,000 per year and take care of the many aspects of mapping and obtaining of easements of private property along the future trail.
“There are five counties already committed with 13 or 14 more that have shown real interest,” Skaggs said.
Scaggs also invited Rich Storm, Commissioner of the Department of Fish and wildlife who said there will probably be as many as 30 counties involved in the project eventually. Storm is only the ninth commissioner of KDFWR in its history.
“Lawrence County is a prime spot for this type of project and along with the many counties who have large areas of land not presently being used, this effort really makes sense.”
But County Attorney Mike Hogan asked if Lawrence County will have a representative on the 23 member board of MRTA. Both Scaggs and Storm said there is no Lawrence County presence on the board at this time. But Storm said the members are on a “rotating basis” and Lawrence county should be represented at some time in the future.
Hogan also noted that the county has invested taxpayer dollars in several multi-county efforts but never seems to be represented or get its fair share of the developments. “If you talk to a lot of people who use the Hatfield-Mccoy trail, they complain about the strict rules implemented by W.Va. officials such as no alcohol allowed even in the cabins and RV parks along the trail,” Hogan said.
In Martin County, magistrate Victor Slone said last week that the new trail will open up business opportunities such as renting ATV’s, opening small stores to sell camping and other supplies as well as building cabins to rent on their property and make a good living at it.
Scaggs made the motion with a second by District 4 magistrate Rick Blackburn to pay the $5,000. Scaggs will be responsible for reporting to the court the progress of the new trail authority.
Other recreation news
- In Other recreation news the fiscal court voted on motion of Scaggs and second by District 2 magistrate Mike “Mouse” Halcomb to raise the rental fees of most of the county owned cabins at Lawrence County Park to $26 on most of the cabins available for rent. The prices were $20 for small cabins and $25 for the two larger ones.
- After a lengthy discussion the court voted to allow New Energy, Inc. owned by popular local resident Susie New and her family to build four cabins on land they lease from the county which includes The Cove and some of the surrounding area. When Judge/Executive Phil Carter read the proposal out loud Hogan and District 3 magistrate David Pinson objected to the language which said the company can build “at least four cabins” on the property. “If you pass this there is no limit on the cabins they can build,” Hogan said. Pinson said he was for tabling the motion but Blackburn then changed the motion he had made to accept the New Energy proposal to delete the words “at least” four cabins, meaning four is all the county is willing to allow.