Proposed Lexington park projects include a refurbished passive park downtown and a rural new recreational site

WEKU | By Stu Johnson

The budget proposed by Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton calls for more than $5 million in park improvements. These projects are in addition to a variety of park projects paid for with $10 million in federal American Rescue Plan dollars. Phoenix Park, adjacent to the Central Library, will undergo significant upgrading. Parks and Recreation Director Monica Conrad said the final plan is still in the works.

“We’re at the stage at this point. We haven’t finished the construction documents, so we’re working with Element Design here in Lexington to finish those out,” said Conrad.

Other parks projects on the list include developing infrastructure like water service, parking, and benches at Deer Haven Park near Hamburg and the replacement of the pool at Douglas Park.

The mayor’s proposed budget also calls for half a million dollars for phase one of the Kelley property development. Eventually, it would provide public access to the river for kayaks and canoes.

“Our next steps for the property would be to not only engage community members about what they want to see at that park, but also work to get that park opened for public access,” said Conrad.

If the Lexington Council agrees with the park funding recommendation, Conrad said an opening is probably about 18 months away. She said there would be some infrastructure improvements needed along with community involvement.

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Photo: Lexington city hall (Stu Johnson for WEKU)