Daviess County Fiscal Court will consider the addition of an outdoor stage at Yellow Creek Park along with a major reconfiguration of the ball diamonds.
Judge/Executive Al Mattingly said the County would start the process of updating conceptual drawings and determining a cost estimate for both projects.
“This work will not be done during our tenure,” Mattingly added. “There’s just not enough time. But we can get the ball rolling so the next Fiscal Court will have the information they need. We can get some bids and specs together, and make a decision on whether or not to move forward.”
The outdoor stage would be located in the large field between Shelter #3 and the Nature Center.
“Pretty much where ROMP has their stage but I would rotate it clockwise to get it along that tree line,” Mattingly said. “You can do a lot of work with a dozer to create a (natural) amphitheater.”
A conceptual drawing of the outdoor stage was drafted in 2014, and Fiscal Court had a public meeting to accept comments but the project did not move forward.
“We have to keep it simple in my view,” said Commissioner George Wathen. “At the time, everyone wanted to add something…bathrooms, kitchens. It got so convoluted and expensive. Let’s keep it simple and allow them (event organizers) to bring in the equipment they need.”
The performance venue would be utilized not only for ROMP Festival but other year-round plays and concerts in the park.
“We always hear comments from people in Owensboro, ‘Why does Beaver Dam have an outdoor stage? Why don’t we have an outdoor stage?’ We have a lot of venues in this community but one venue we don’t have is an outdoor stage,” Mattingly said.
“It’s time for us to bring this facility to the forefront,” he added. “The Bluegrass Museum has to rent a stage every year and bring it from Nashville (Tennessee). We need to revisit with the engineers, ask them to update the drawings and bring ideas with an estimate on what the cost might be. We have the money to move forward and do it without having to borrow or bond anything.”
Fiscal Court is also exploring a reconfigured, cloverleaf-style ballfield configuration, where four fields would back up to a central concession stand. To free up additional space, the maintenance buildings could be moved to the back of Yellow Creek Park with entry off Reid Road.
“That would give us a huge piece of property to re-work the ball diamonds,” Mattingly said. “We need to get someone to look at it, collect data, and superimpose the measurements for a drawing or proposal to utilize that space.”
Commissioner Wathen said the ball diamonds at Panther Creek Park are often tied up with travel tournaments.
“That’s why I would like to see us do something out here at Yellow Creek, because it is really utilized by local teams and clubs,” he added.
Fiscal Court is also negotiating with the River City Pickleball Club to potentially add more pickleball courts at Yellow Creek Park. Commissioners said the design work for the ballfields should take that plan into consideration.
Funding for Downtown Arts Organizations
Judge/Executive Al Mattingly said the County would be distributing excess tourist tax money to downtown arts organizations, based on their funding requests for capital projects.
Eligible organizations include the RiverPark Center, Theatre Workshop, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science & History, Owensboro Symphony, and the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum.
Mattingly said matching grant requests would be considered more favorably along with projects that take into consideration the Owensboro Destination Assessment Report. The report, compiled by Veneto Collaboratory, evaluated seven attractions in the city with recommendations to reimagine sites and improve product offerings.
Funding for the capital projects will be awarded by the end of October 2022.
Fiscal Court approved a contract with GRADD for a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant that will support a new generator in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Daviess County EMA.
Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC) will continue to maintain a 28-acre tract of county-owned land at US 231 and Foors Lane. The agriculture technology program uses the property to provide hands-on experience for students, growing different plants as part of an outdoor lab.
Fiscal Court approved an updated lease agreement with the state for office space and records storage utilized by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
Commissioners awarded bids for a new landfill compactor and three new walking floor trailers at the Transfer Station, while terminating a bid contract for engine oils and lubricants.
Fiscal Court acknowledged the following 2nd quarter employee anniversaries:
- Colton Lanham – 5 years – Public Works Heavy Equipment Operator
- Casey Owens – 5 years – Building and Grounds Technician
- Bob Root – 20 years – Landfill Site Supervisor
- Brian Lanham – 30 Years – Transfer Station Supervisor