There is an obstacle to overcome before securing a Kentucky Trail Town designation for Evarts.
During a meeting of the Evarts Trail Town Committee on Tuesday, the panel discussed the necessity of annexing a section of road — KY 2430 — connecting the Black Mountain Thunder Outdoor Park to the city.
Executive Director for Kentucky Tourism Elaine Wilson attended the meeting and addressed questions concerning the less than one mile section of road.
“It would be nice to get that road covered under your ordinance,” said Wilson. “That would be really important because then people could legally ride into town, and that’s what you want them to do. You want them to come into town from the park and shop, spend money, do things, eat, stay overnight and be able to get up the next morning get in their vehicle and ride over to the park.”
According to Wilson, that connecting road would set Evarts apart from any other ATV park in Kentucky.
“Virginia and West Virginia too are trying to develop communities where you can ride into town. They market it like that,” said Wilson.
Wilson stated the only probable way around the issue is for the city to annex the road.
After the meeting, Evarts Mayor Eddie Manning said the problem with KY 2430 is that the city has no jurisdiction over it.
“It’s not legal outside the city limits for us to say it is legal to ride from the end of the city limits to the Bailey’s Creek Trail head,” said Manning. “Truth is, it’s never been legal. The city promotes that you can ride through town. We don’t promote that you can ride to town.”
Manning said the state wants Evarts to annex the road so they can promote the city as the only town in the state where you can legally ride off of the trails and into town.
Wilson said after the meeting it is important the issue with KY 2430 be settled.
“It’s very important to connect Evarts to the trail head, because that’s what sets them apart from all the other ATV parks that we have in the state,” said Wilson. “It’s very appealing to people who ride ATV’s or off road vehicles to be able to get back into town.”
Manning pointed out annexing the road would allow off road vehicles to be covered under the city’s ordinance, enabling them to legally ride between the park and town.
Annexing Ky 2430 would benefit the residents of Bailey’s Creek because the road would then be patrolled by the Evarts Police Department, according to Manning.
“I want people to understand this annexation process on this road will not include houses,” said Manning. “This is not the annexation of property. This is only the road.”
During a regular city council meeting held minutes after the Trail Town meeting adjourned, the council passed a motion to begin the process of annexing Ky 2430. The motion passed unanimously.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, email@example.com