Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

January 15, 2013

Barren County Fiscal Court asked to fund field lighting at Jackie Browning Park

By AMANDA LOVIZA VICKERY
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — In a fiscal court meeting that was in open session as long as it was in closed session, Barren County Fiscal Court spent most of its public time discussing a familiar topic, the funding of lights at the last two fields in Jackie Browning Park.

Jon Hall, representative for the “newly-formed” Barren County Sports League, appealed to the court to consider funding lighting at the last two fields that do not already have lighting.

“The two fields are great, they're great, they just lack lights,” Hall said.

The request for lighting is not new. Four fields have been built in the last four years at the park. The first two fields had lights installed in 2010, County Recreation Department Head Charles Kerney said. The last two fields were completed, without lights, last year. Kerney asked the county to fully complete the two fields, with lights, all at once, but it was too much of a burden to the taxpayers, he said. Now, however, Kerney said there are no other major construction projects at Jackie Browning, and the fields should be completed.

“It needs to be finished,” Kerney said.

Hall thanked the fiscal court for building the two additional fields last year, but he shared Kerney's assessment that the fields are not complete without lights.

“Lights are a must,” Hall said. “They just are.”

The fields are already booked solid March through July of this year, Kerney said, with the exception of night-time hours on fields without lighting. He told the court that he thought field usage would double if the county had lights on the remaining two fields. Having lights could bring in revenue from additional tournaments.

Lights for two fields will cost between $155,000 to $170,000, Hall said, or $23,600 per year over a period of 10 years.

Bud Tarry, chairman of the Barren County Recreation Board, told the fiscal court that the members of the recreation board and the sports league board have started approaching local businesses about possibly offering donations, but they do not have any final numbers on that. They would like to get funding by the end of January, Tarry said, and it will take 30-45 days to complete the construction of the lights.

Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer told the court that there is $52,226 left in the recreation department budget for the fiscal year that ends in June. Earlier Tuesday, Greer said she found out the county was denied the grant for which it had applied to help with the cost of lighting the fields.

For the full story, see the print or e-edition of Wednesday's Glasgow Daily Times.