Hancock County officials look at resuming swimming at Vastwood Lake


HANCOCK COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) – While pools around the Tri-State are a few weeks from reopening, Hancock County officials are looking at welcoming back swimmers to a lake where swimming has been prohibited for years.

The sound of heavy machinery releveling the Vastwood Lake beach echoed through the area for much of the day. The beach is being releveled for the potential return of swimmers.

“We came out here swimming all the time. Lots of people. It seemed everybody had fun out there,” said Scott Cumpston of Lewisport.

“My grandparents would always bring us out after church. We’d go out and get something to eat and then go swimming,” recalled Dakoda Cumpston of Lewisport.

Judge Executive Johnny Roberts Jr. says they’re working on reopening the lake to swimmers for the first time in at least six years for a potential limited swimming season possibly starting as early as late June. This allows them to measure public interest. He says they got recent interest from residents to reopen it.

“I think it’d be alright and everything because once kids can get out of school and they want to swim, they know they can go to a place to go swim,” says Kevin Bratcher of Hawesville.

Before swimmers can return, Judge Roberts says the water will be tested by health officials. A company is working with them to control weeds, and they need to enough openings for lifeguards and other jobs. Some residents say reopening the lake can bring more people to the park and more memories.

“I think it’d be good to get the kids back out in the community and go swimming, instead of in their own backyards,” Dakoda said.

Judge Roberts says once swim season is done, they’ll review interest again as part of the fiscal court’s long term decision.

(This story was originally published on May 6, 2021)

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