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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Cold Spring Opens New Lakeside Park

Cold Spring Mayor D. Angelo Penque is with city maintenance crew members, Michael Wright and Landon Webster, who are removing the "no fishing" signs as the new Robert J. Barth Park opens up.

By Robin Gee

Cold Spring and area residents have a new option for outdoor exercise and fun. Mayor D. Angelo Penque announced Robert J. Barth Park is now open.

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Although more improvements are coming, the mayor said the city wanted to open as soon as the sidewalk that runs around the lake was completed to allow for biking, jogging, walking and running around the lake – and it’s open for fishing.

The mayor was out at the park Tuesday with city crews to remove closed signs and make a brief video announcement. As he was speaking, several area children were already on hand biking, fishing and skateboarding around the lake.

"We’re excited about opening it now because of the virus going around. It will give people more of an opportunity to get out into the park. We’re taking the fishing sign down so people can fish."

The park runs around a lake behind the Cracker Barrel Restaurant (4210 Alexandria Pike) and is hemmed by Matinee Boulevard, Buning Lane and Alexandria Pike.

For now, no boats are allowed on the water. Once health and safety regulations allow, the Kentucky state wildlife department will begin stocking and maintaining the fish in the lake through the Fishing in the Neighborhoods (FINs) program.

A timeline for the park already in motion

Because all the work for the development of the park is being done by city staff, work will be completed in stages as time and budget – and weather – allow.

Here is a rough timeline for park amenities:

  • Now: The park is open now. The sidewalk around the park is complete, and fishing is allowed.
  • Soon: Benches are in and city crews will pour concrete pads and install them as weather permits.
  • Next: Improvement projects will follow as the city crew has time and budget.
    - A picnic area will be added close to the Cracker Barrel parking area.
    - Markers will be installed around the lake to indicate distance.
    - Additional sidewalk will be laid on the lake side of the street from Springhouse Drive to the lake.
  • Later this year: A gazebo will be built.
  • After most other work is completed: The parking lot will be cleaned, sealed and restriped.
  • Over the next few years: Additional trees and landscaping around the lake will be added as future city budgets allow. 

A young Cold Spring resident gets some fishing in at the new Robert J. Barth Park.

Making the park possible

Penque noted that the decision to keep the work "in house" is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the project. The city public works crew, led by Director Ronnie Hitch, has been key in the process, of course, and the mayor thanked them for their hard work.

The mayor also thanked the anonymous donor whose gift of $100,000 made the park possible. The donor also recently gave another $15,000 for the gazebo.

Penque added that City Administrator Steve Taylor and City Attorney Brandon Voelker joined him early on to discuss how best to move forward and keep costs to the city low. They decided keeping the work in-house, even if that meant stretching the completion of the work out over time, would be the best way to save the city money.

He also thanked city council for their support, especially member Chris Ampfer who became a champion for the project, pushing it forward throughout the process.

For more on the project, see the City of Cold Spring page on Facebook.

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