Announcing plans to revisit the fish hatchery project in Lynch, Magistrate David Kennedy said Harlan Fiscal Court is looking at the idea as a way to stimulate local economic development.
During a meeting of the Trail Town Task Force on Wednesday, Kennedy said, “we’re about to get this project fired back up on the fish hatchery in Lynch. Judge Dan Mosley has him some help now, so Dan is ready to jump more into the fire on developing our local economy.”
Lynch councilman Winston Yeary said the hatchery was using trout in the past, which required warm water and they had trouble with power outages keeping the fish at the right temperature. He said he believes “the county is going to attempt to use a different fish this time, which can grow in cold water.”
Kennedy added a fishing dock, located in the city of Cumberland, is nearing completion. He said workers have dug and secured poles 6-feet deep with concrete to secure the dock. He added after the dock is completed residents need to contact the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and request more frequent stocking of trout.
“People will have to park and walk to the dock because there is no driving access to it,” said Kennedy. “They can walk across the overpass bridge to get to it. This was a project paid for by the former Cumberland Fish and Game Club. They dissolved the organization and had approximately $6,500 they wanted to do a worthwhile project with as a final thing. They came up with this idea, and the city of Cumberland owns the property, so it has been a joint effort between everybody to try and get that up and running over there.”
Kennedy said the dock will be 30 feet by 30 feet extended “right up to the edge of the water.”
“This will be a really nice spot for fishing,” Kennedy added.
Task Force member Tracy Bailey said later on Cumberland Tourism could look at applying for a beautification grant to “spruce up the dock.”
Lonnie Riley asked if a fishing dock could be constructed on Looney Creek in Lynch.
“They sure need one,” Riley said. Bailey agreed.
“The one in Benham is used a lot. Every time I go by there someone is always using that fishing dock,” Bailey added.
Jamie Noe, an engineer with Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers in Middlesboro, updated task force members on the status of a recent TAP grant the Tri-City received.
“Sadly, I don’t have a lot of news to report,” said Noe. “We still have not received a memorandum of agreement. Hopefully, that will be soon.”
Harlan County Treasurer Ryan Creech confirmed his office has also not received anymore news on the grant.
Task force member Lonnie Riley asked if there is a time frame to receive the MOA and Noe replied “a month and a half ago.”
“I know they have been reworking some of the language in it, which will help us quite a bit,” said Noe. “I’m assuming that has been the holdup. When I spoke to them a month ago it was with the legal department where they were rewording some of it.”
Creech said any “rewording of the grant” will come through the county judge-executive’s office.
“Once we get it, the judge will sign it, we’ll send it back for full execution and once we get it back everything should be ready to go,” Creech said.
Lynch Mayor John Adams asked Noe if the trails coming off Kingdom Come State Park will be added to the grant and she said she “didn’t know.”
“I still think that will be the case. We won’t be able to go there,” Noe replied.
Director Bobbie Gothard announced a calender of events will be available soon for events set in the Tri-City area for the months of November and December. She also announced this year’s annual Christmas Parade will be held on Dec. 4.
Kingdom Come State Park Manager Rick Fuller updated everyone on the status of the new entrance to the park. He said a sign can be installed saying “look out for hikers or bikers” on the new roadway.
“The new road has a beautiful view,” said Fuller. “It’s wide open — the view is great, but a lot of people have found it a bit intimidating because you can now see how steep it is. The old entrance was winding and you couldn’t see that. The new entrance once you start up, it’s up hill all the way. Once the trees and grass come up that may ease some of that. It’s open now and guardrails are being installed. There is still another layer of blacktop to go down, once that is all done then the park system will be posting a sign listing it as an entrance to the park. The new sign has a bear on it and it also says it has access to the Pine Mountain Trail route. The sign will be set in a stone foundation.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde