Residents continue campaign for youth activities

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By Kristin Beck

Local residents continued the ongoing discussion of finding additional activities for the youth of the community.

Byron Rodgers of Carrollton presented Carrollton City Council with information he picked up on a recreational facility in Burlington, Kan. The center was built by a nuclear plant and includes a swimming pool, weight room, child care facility and basketball court. Rodgers said he would like to see a similar recreational center built in Carrollton. “I think it would really benefit Carrollton,” he said. “This is a great idea all-around.”

After reading the ordinances associated with the center, City Attorney Nick Marsh explained that the state of Kansas has set up a recreational commission and levies an additional tax for the upkeep of the property. Kentucky does not have such a commission. The power plant also pays for about 87 percent of the cost, most likely because it encompasses that much of the tax base in Burlington, which Rodgers estimates is home to 2,900 people.

Mayor Gene McMurry recommended Rodgers speak to Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson and Carroll County Fiscal Court about the endeavor because the project would probably cost $8-10 million to construct and $500,000 a year in maintenance. “We’re not broke, but we can’t afford something like that,” he said, emphasizing that it would need to be a joint city-county venture.

Councilwoman and former mayor Ann Deatherage said a recreational center has been talked about for years. During her tenure as mayor, she said a committee was formed and even had drawings of what they wanted the center to look like.

Carrollton resident Larry Willhoite suggested Rodgers join him and others in a group interested in finding the youth of Carrollton ways to occupy their time.

At the May 23 council meeting, Willhoite and fellow Sixth Street resident Doug Hill approached council about problems with juveniles who hangout in the area, creating noise and damage to their property.

Hill also attended Monday’s meeting and thanked Carrollton Police Chief Mike Willhoite and his officers for a job well done.

“It has stopped,” Hill said. “They’re not there, and they haven’t come back. … I appreciate it. It’s 100 percent better now.”

Larry Willhoite passed out a proposal, signed by 17 people including himself, to council asking them to secure a site where two basketball goals could be erected and $700 to purchase the goals, backboards and posts. McMurry said council will review their proposal.