BRANDENBURG, KY (WAVE) - Otter Creek Park closed in January 2, 2009. Even though it is in Meade County, Louisville Metro Parks was running it until the country ran into budget problems. Now the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is negotiating a lease to take it over and want to know what residents think about how it will be used.
Nothing is finalized yet, not even the lease, but assuming everything goes as planned a spokesperson says they hope it will open spring 2011. Now the task is to decide what goes inside.
"We've been missing it really bad," said Mike Gilbert of Valley Station, who along with his family, have vacationed at Otter Creek Park for the last 20 years. "Because of the gas prices and the economy and the way that it is close to home and it's like really the only recreational park we have in town."
For the past two years, however, the Gilberts haven't been able to go because the park has been closed. Now, the plan is to reopen Otter Creek as a recreational area that could include hiking trails, horseback riding, even hunting, which wasn't offered before.
"I would like to see them open it up to go hunting and fishing," said Ted Holbert of Valley Station.
"As far as deer and stuff I don't agree with that," said Gilbert. "It's a wildlife park that needs to be preserved."
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Mark Marraccini said it is likely there will be fishing, boating, and hunting because that's what the department does and those licenses and fees will help pay to maintain it. He did say it would be separated from the campground for safety.
"The National Safety Council actually ranks hunting as the safest outdoor recreational sport that they measure," said Marraccini. "Hunting is actually gets a bad rap a lot of times, but it's actually a very, very safe outdoor recreational pursuit."
There could also be a user fee, but park goers we spoke with say it's worth it.
"I would love to pay," said Gilbert. "We would volunteer to help out to keep it open ... just as long as the fees wasn't ridiculous, we would still frequent the place, no problem there."