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Roadside Park on 55 given to City of Columbia
"The City has the resources and the manpower to keep it nice and protect it as an asset for our community..." - R.P.
By Linda Waggener
Richard Phelps, former President of the Columbia Adair Chamber of Commerce, has continued to take the Roadside Park on Hwy 55 South, just outside of Columbia, KY as a personal mission.
Ellen Zornes, Executive Director of the Chamber, credited him as the force behind Park maintenance for many years and said that's why she first spoke with him about the idea to give ownership of the Park to the City as budgets have tightened and the Coronavirus Pandemic has cut available help.
Looking back, Phelps said, "Many volunteers have given of themselves to maintain the Roadside Park over the years and in the recent past the City has given a thousand dollars a year to help with upkeep.
"I'm very excited that the City has it and is going to take care of it. The City has the resources and the manpower to keep it nice and an asset for our community," he said.
He said it was important to have available for families needing a place to stop and take a break.
He recalled during his leadership of the Chamber that it was Senator Vernie McGaha who found a $25,000 surplus, enough for that park plus the Little League and Industrial Park.
With that amount, and many volunteers, much was done. Some who came to mind as having contributed were Lewis Garrison who sent equipment and help, Gaddie Shamrock, Magistrates and Judge Jerry Vaughn.
He remembered that the playground equipment was possible with a grant from Cellular One phone company, working with Sue Stivers and matching monies.
Some years later, with help from Nick Hazel, Phelps secured a grant through the Lake Cumberland Area Development District which made it possible to get the walking trail.
The gift to the City of Columbia stipulates only that if the City ever has to sell it, twenty-five percent of the amount will be given back to the Chamber of Commerce.
The City Council voted unanimously at the July meeting to accept the Park and maintain it within the Parks and Recreation department.
This story was posted on 2020-07-30 07:30:50
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