Kentucky Lawmakers Look for Ways to Improve State Parks

Lawmakers met at Lake Malone State Park to find ways to upgrade parks across the state.
Not enough money, not enough people.Those are two problems facing Kentucky state parks. Earlier this year, we told you about the decline of Lake Malone in Muhlenberg County.

You can't see much of what lies beneath the surface of Lake Malone. But for Bob Petrusek, who came here to retire, he can see the problems.

"The state docks, sometimes you can rent a spot, sometimes you can't. Sometimes you can get gas, sometimes you can't," he says. "The services have been inconsistent and spotty. And we really don't see improvement that's been done to the area."

"A local country store at the entrance to this park has stopped operating," says Rep. Brent Yonts of Muhlenberg County. "A golf course within two miles of here has ceased to function."

But Lake Malone isn't the only state park that's seen better days.

"Taking a look at our maintenance challenges, we are unable to meet the standard replacements of our infrastructure," says Kentucky Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker during Wednesday's meeting.

That's why lawmakers are looking for solutions to those problems, seeing what can be done to restore funding and restore what made people want to see what Kentucky parks had to offer.

"People came out here by the hundreds, on the weekends in particular, to fish, to camp, to picnic," Yonts recalls.

"I think that if the state had more of a presence here with the types of services that people can count on, they can draw people and can draw more businesses," says Petrusek.

Yonts says lawmakers will push for more state park funding in the General Assembly's budget talks next session.
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