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Kentucky State Parks Could Recieve $150 Million Over Next Few Years For Repairs

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Lake Barkley State Resort Park Facebook Page
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Lake Barkley State Resort Park

A bill that would allow the Kentucky Cabinet for Tourism, Arts and Heritage to borrow $150 million to fix up the state’s parks is moving through the legislature.

Kentucky State Parks have $240 million in deferred backlog maintenance. That’s according to Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Communications Director John Cox. He said roughly $80 million of the bonds will go towards structural upkeep if the proposal passes in its current state.

Cox said the state’s resort parks are especially in need of some of these improvements-- which include repairing wastewater treatment systems and roofs. He said the remaining $70 million would “justify the bonding.”

“More investments in things like campgrounds, building some new cabins or cottages at certain parks that do well with those- the bottom line, and so we wanted to make this proposal be able to pay for itself over time,” Cox said.

Cox said currently, it’s hard to say how much money will go towards what specific parks- but added that “every state park will be touched by this funding.”

The Associated Press reports House Bill 268 would allow the Cabinet to initially borrow $50 million. Kentucky taxpayers would initially pay $2.2 million toward that debt in the same budget year and pay the rest of the money over the next few decades.

The bill also allows the Cabinet to continue to borrow an additional $100 million over the next three years. The legislature would have to authorize the additional borrowing next year.  

The bill passed a House vote last week and now heads to the Senate.

Taylor is a recent Murray State University graduate where she studied journalism and history. When she's not reporting for WKMS, she enjoys creative writing and traveling. She loves writing stories that involve diversity, local culture and history, nature and recreation, art and music, and national or local politics. If you have a news tip or idea, shoot her an email at tinman1@murraystate.edu!
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