Otter Creek Park Update: County or State Ownership?

The Courier-Journal is reporting this morning that both the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources and Meade County have expressed interest in buying or leasing Otter Creek Park from Louisville Metro:

The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources is keenly interested in taking over Otter Creek Park to operate it as a wildlife-management area, the department’s top official said yesterday.

Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Jon Gassett said in an interview that he intends to meet with Metro Parks officials soon to discuss having his department take over Otter Creek.

Mayor Jerry Abramson announced Monday that, in an effort to help offset a projected $20 million city budget shortfall this fiscal year, the park would be closed beginning Dec. 14 because it loses about $500,000 annually.

The city decided yesterday to delay the closing until Jan. 1, so people can use the park’s lodging and facilities over the holidays.

State operation of the 2,600-acre, Louisville-owned park in Meade County “would obviously be a good solution, and one we would welcome,” Metro Parks spokesman Jason Cissell said.

Gassett said one condition for the state taking over Otter Creek would be that Metro Parks’ ban on hunting and fishing be lifted — a condition Cissell said could be met without federal approval. The federal government ceded Otter Creek to the city in 1947.

Meade County Judge-Executive Harry Craycroft said yesterday that he also would be interested in talking to Louisville officials about his county’s assuming control of Otter Creek, if a restriction could be lifted that the park must be used for recreation. He said the site, offering scenic views of the Ohio River, would be attractive for industrial or residential development.

Cissell said, however, the requirement that the property be used for recreation could be lifted only by the U.S. interior secretary. And he said that Metro Parks’ preference would be to keep the park for recreational use.

Craycroft said Meade County couldn’t afford to operate Otter Creek solely for recreation.

Gotta love how deliberately vague the article is about what would happen to OCP under either circumstance. If the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources was able to change OCP into a wildlife-management area, most recreational uses aside from hunting and fishing would drop off dramatically. And we don’t think we need to spell out how awful it would be to have a beautiful park converted to industrial use.

Again, if you are concerned about the future of Otter Creek Park, please contact Mayor Abramson and your Councilmember to express your opposition:

Mayor’s Office
Metro Hall / 4th Floor
527 W. Jefferson St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 574-2003

Metro Council
601 W. Jefferson St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 574-1100
Address postal mail to individual Councilmember.

http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroCouncil/ – This site links to individual Councilmembers.

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2 Responses to “Otter Creek Park Update: County or State Ownership?”

  1. Any more updates?

    There are only a few days remaining until Otter Creek closes, is it too late to save?

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