All Squared Up
We are all caught up with our lease payments. Estill County finally came through with their portion of the lease payment ($18,500). We will be issuing our check to the lease holder as soon as possible.
'X' Marks The Spot
Park Manager Tony Tipton produced a new map that lists all trails and routes that leave the park. Points are reflected on the map at the exact point where the trail leaves Hollerwood. The map also highlights other properties by adjoining land-owners and shows the challenges that are still in place. This is the map that the local governments and the board will be working from in order to resolve trail issues. This is a key item to have for our trail planning and rescue planning.
Up on Cripple Creek
Much discussion took place regarding the creek on the main entrance trail. The board discussed the issues with severe mud and swamp-like conditions after rainstorms and the difficulty we might have in rescuing stranded vehicles if they were to get stuck. Possible resolutions ranged from simple rocks to help shore up the bottom to the construction of a bridge to bypass the creek entirely. Judge Anderson (Powell County) agreed to have someone from the road crew go out and assess the situation in order to see if they can remedy the issue.
Signs, signs, and more signs
We still have rules, liability forms, and signs to acquire and deploy before we open. The board heard from James Neukam (board member) about the research he has done in to signs. The board agreed that James should head up this effort. Discussion also took place about road crossing signs, ATV traffic alert signs, etc.
Money, Money, Money, Money
Park Manager Tony Tipton sent out a letter to the Estill County Judge Executive and Fiscal Court regarding their late payment regarding the lease we have on the park. We hope this will be resolved upon the next meeting of the Estill County Fiscal Court, which will be on Monday, February 20th at 6:00.
Run, Forester, Run
Mr. Tipton is also working on getting Mitch Frisbee to the park to aid on property boundaries. Mr. Frisbee is a professional forester who has previously worked on boundary issues on this land in years past. His knowledge and experience will help expedite the process of defining this key piece in getting the park open in the Spring.
Trying to make it ours
We are still pursuing opportunities with the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) to try and acquire the funds to purchase the land out-right. This has been an issue with trying to secure grants for this project. Once we own the property, we should be able to accelerate our development plan... So let's hope this works out.
volunteers needed - trail day!
We are looking to hold a Hollerwood Park trail day. We plan on meeting on Saturday, March 4th, at the Sun Oil building (on KY Highway 1036) at 10 a.m. Activities we plan on accomplishing are:
Piece of the pie
Board member David Terrill brought up an idea of working something out with the property owners in order to get a deed to the building and some small piece of property to use as a foot-hold in our next round of grant applications. The idea is still in its early phases, so hopefully we'll have more information on it at our next meeting.
I want to ride my bicycle...
Joe Bowen asked to use the Sun Oil parking lot for his off-road bicycle ride, tentatively called the "Rugged Red: Gravel Grinder". The event could bring hundreds of visitors to the area, exposing them to some of the scenery that helps make this park so special. The board had a lot of discussion regarding date of the event as well as insurance liability. The board will decide on this at the next meeting once Mr. Bowen provides a date for his event.
Fiscal house of cards
The board reviewed matters involving lease payments from the counties. A letter was drafted to send to the fiscal agencies that were causing delays in payments. The boards hopes to have this matter addressed in the next 30 days.
... At the end of the rainbow
Our project manager has been invited to the Red River Gorge Conference in March that covers federal and state grants and loan submissions. The hope is that some money can be secured to help ease our expected startup costs. We'll report more once we know.
Lines in the sand
We're trying to resolve some final key property issues that involve some trails. These are some of the hardest properties to ascertain ownership, which makes this a very exciting prospect.
Save the date
After a lot of work, a prospective opening date of Spring 2017 has been targeted. While this date is not set in stone, we are hoping to have everything in place to get the park up and running then. We're looking forward to the spring and letting everyone enjoy this gem in the mountains.
Paying the man
We made out lease payment. There was some initial confusion involving addresses and locations, but all that was resolved and we did pay our lease; so we are good until next fall.
We've been working on resolving the issues on our western border. We reached out with our adjoining land-owners and were able to come to an agreement on the boundary lines. This is a big deal because land border disputes can be complicated and expensive. We're just gad we have good neighbors who are willing to work with us and are as excited as we are to see this park open.
Divide and conquer
We still have a few outstanding border issues. Our park manager, Tony Tipton, plans on addressing these one at a time in order to get them resolved in a timely manner. With the help of some outside groups, we think our research has given us all the information we need in order to approach the right people for each dispute. As you can imagine, property that has been bought, sold, traded, and acquired so many times leaves a myriad of land deeds in its trail. Tracking these down has been one tedious task, but that's what it takes to get these issues resolved so we can meet the rest of our target dates.
Stop, drop, and roll(cage)
Since we've resolved some of out border issues, the board discussed putting up boundary signs along the trails to indicate when riders are leaving the property and which property they're going to be on (private property, public road, forestry service, etc.). All riders must follow the signs in order for us to maintain a good relationship with our neighbors. Penalties for violating these signs will likely be severe as it would adversely affect the entire community.
We've posted the next meeting on Facebook. We encourage everyone to attend, particularly if you have questions or concerns you'd like to voice to the board.
Land of Hope & Dreams
We've been working on trying to secure our lease payment, but have ran in to funding issues with one of the counties. As everyone knows, county resources are precious and it's hard to anticipate emergencies that arise. We are working hard to ensure that the finances are in order. More to come...
Work has continued on contacting the neighboring land owners and securing border agreements. Some owners don't live on the property, so making contact has proved to be difficult in some circumstances. We continue to work hard to ensuring we are good neighbors and aren't violating anyone else's land.
Land of Confusion
The meeting tonight focused heavily on boundary and title issues. We took a deep dive in to the issues we have along some of our trails. Tony Tipton invited Chris Bowlin to go over his research in to where the rails may leave our property. We say "may leave or property" because some land deeds are good, but most are extremely vague and are hard to definitively say where the boundary is. Tony, with the aid of Chris Bowlin, is going to reach out to nearby landowners on property issues to help move the process forward. Look for more to come from our future meetings... Things are moving fast! If you're interested in coming to our next meeting, please check us out on Facebook.
The lease payment is due. To remind everyone, this property was acquired on a lease-to-own basis. Every year, the four counties involved (Lee, Estill, Wolfe, and Powell) have to pay the lease payment to the landowners. This has to be approved through the fiscal court of each county, so it is a slow process. Paying this annual payment is of the utmost importance to the board and the project.
Progress: Our Favorite Word
Tony Tipton, our new park manager, provided the board with updates on his opening plan. He has made substantial progress in the areas of boundary resolution, economic impact, and signage. More work is needed on trail rating, parking, and other capital projects. The thing that everyone likes to hear is that things are moving forward at a faster rate than ever before. More to come...
The board approved $2500 for added work to clear some of the property titles in Estill, Wolfe and Powell counties. The title situation on rural lands that have been sold between oil and mineral companies is always messy. Having a clean title ensures we aren't trespassing on anyone's property as well as not improving property we don't have claim to.
Your Attendance Is Requested
As always, we encourage any of our supporters to bring any concerns or questions to our park meetings. We post all of our meetings on our Hollerwood Park Facebook page. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!
I think we missed something
We're back. Sorry for the brief absence. We've were so swept up with park initiatives that we forgot to post an update after the last meeting. To summarize... We didn't get the SOAR grant, which was disappointing. After we found out the news, we immediately started refocussing our efforts towards getting this project moving again. We met with all the counties, including their executive leadership, and they all reaffirmed our commitment towards helping us get this park open. We're working through those plans tight now, so hopefully we'll have some good news in the coming months... Stay tuned!
Holding Out For a Hero
Today, a delegation of our board held interviews for our park project manager position that we've posted about. The board was blown away at the level of talent that turned out to lead this amazing opportunity at bringing something special to our community. Every person interviewed brought something unique inspiring to the table. It truly is a situation where we wish we could hire everyone. Due to the high-caliber of each candidates, the board will need some time to deliberate and attempt to make the tough decision on picking our first project manager. We should be able to announce the results of the interviews by our next board meeting.
We are looking for our first official worker
The Hollerwood Park Board, in conjunction with the Wolfe County Tourism Board, is now accepting applications for our first park worker. All the information can be found in the job posting below. Please help spread the word; we want to get the best people possible working on this effort.
SOAR Grant Update
Not much to say here. The State Legislature and Governor still haven't agreed on a budget, so the grant is in a state of limbo until then. We aren't being given any firm dates either due to the same reasoning. We're as anxious to move forward with this as you all are, so stay tuned to our website and the SOAR website.
Like a good Neighbor
We've been in contact with some of our neighbors regarding our upcoming land survey. We want to try and resolve any and all land disputes as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Some neighbors have even offered some of their surveys for reference, which is a great help! We look forward to being a good neighbor with all the adjacent land owners. If you have any questions regarding your land that may border our park, please let us know.
Working on the highway
The trail system we are working is spectacular, to say the least. The trails are long, challenging, and intricate. These are all great things, except when those trails come in to contact with existing county roads. The board spent some time reviewing KRS 189.515 to ensure all trails we are developing work with the guidelines that are outlined by this statute. The board thought the statue important enough that a decision was made to include the KRS in the official park waiver.
Working for the man
The board is ready to proceed with hiring a park worker. In the coming days we will be posting a job description for the worker that has been discussed for the past few months. The worker will be a contract position that will report to the Wolfe County Tourism Board. The board will screen through the applicants we receive and hope to conduct interviews starting at 5:00 on the date of our next board meeting. Once we decide on a candidate, we will make the recommendation to the Wolfe County Tourism Board for final approval. If all goes well, we should have someone dedicated to working on this project by June. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for more information regarding the position.
Signs, signs, everywhere a sign
James Neukam has been one of our most dedicated workers (and meeting attendees). He recently brought to the boards attention the fact that we haven't adequately marked any of the trails we've been developing. He has been looking in to prices and effectiveness of some signs and will be bringing the results of his research to the next meeting. The board went ahead and approved a $500 budget for signage on and around the trails. We appreciate all the work our volunteers have been doing to help this project along.