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Saturday’s ribbon cutting for the river walk in Carrollton signals the crucial second step in efforts to bring more visitors to our community and to enhance local residents’ enjoyment of our river views.
As I walked toward the river walk Sunday night, I stopped to chat with some local folks who agree the new offerings are on the verge of “taking off.”
The key word there is “verge.” We still have things to do that will fill the 2Rivers Campground on a regular basis and increase traffic in our downtown.
Our RV park looks a little emptier these days because city leaders lived up to their promise to reserve its use for visitors. Over the past year, officials were allowing some people to reside there long-term.
If you noticed, it at times looked more like a trailer park with some of the long-term campers going as far as installing outside Christmas lights, while others draped underpinning around their campers as they tried to keep warm.
City leaders deserve our thanks and praise for their vote to reserve the RV park for visitors who are here for a week or two vacation.
Now we just have to move forward with the next key steps that can turn 2Rivers Campground and our downtown into a destination.
As I walk through the park and the city, I’ve developed my own list of what we need — items that mirror the plans developed in recent years for Point Park and downtown.
First, let’s improve the path that connects the RV park with Point Park and the river walk. The city is seeking grant money for this project, but in the meantime several loads of gravel will help make what’s there more attractive and safer for those walking along the Kentucky River.
People who visit will want to make that journey from their RVs over to the river walk to take in the beauty of the Ohio River.
Next on my list is doing some cleaning up in the area of Point Park between the bridge and the RV park. Let’s move forward with relocating the city’s burning pile and clean up the areas near the Prestonville bridge that have piles of broken concrete and other debris.
No one wants to camp next to what could be considered a “dump.”
The community can help with this by taking part in Saturday’s Carroll County River Sweep that begins at 8:30 a.m. at Point Park.
Another move that will enhance the views from 2Rivers Campground is simple screening that can be installed on fence across Second Street, where channels remain from the old city sewage treatment plant.
Let’s block them from view and maybe go ahead and install the screening at the Public Works Department’s storage area next door.
We have to hide our scars and shift everyone’s focus to the natural beauty that abounds along the rivers and Point Park.
We also need that one other attraction that is part of the plans developed for the city.
The splash park is a must.
It will serve as that little extra that can make Point Park even more special to visitors and local residents.
The city has been unsuccessful at getting a grant funding for the project. But we can’t continue to wait. Let’s make that investment, because it can make the other investments we have made in the RV park, Point Park and the river walk truly begin to pay off.
We also must continue to invest in our downtown through the city’s Enterprise Incentive Program that channels dollars into façade improvements and new business development for the historic district.
We do have “million dollar views” that people are willing to pay to enjoy.
Carrollton is well on its way, so let’s not lose the momentum we have going.
Jeff Moore is the publisher of The News-Democrat and The Trimble Banner. A Carrollton resident, he also serves as president of Carrollton Main Street Program.