Judge ready to remove playground equipment, destroy pavement

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - David Dycus
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. - Judge Executive Mike Miller is threatening to close Bear Creek Park.  That's because the Tennessee Valley Authority wants the county to pay thousands of dollars to keep using the land where the park sits, a park built with county tax dollars.

"We'll take a bulldozer down there, we'll just doze it down, let it grow back up," Miller said while talking about the park.

A TVA Spokesperson said a 25 year easement agreement, or right to use TVA property at the park, expired in 2011.  They want $5,000 to renew it.

"It's ridiculous," Miller said.

Miller called the TVA.

"He said we need to negotiate I said 'I'm not in the mood to negotiate,'" Miller told Local 6.
 
TVA Spokesperson Scott Brooks said if the county doesn't pay, TVA customers will have to.

"It's not fair to charge everyone who pays their electric bills a fee for land use," Brooks said.

Brooks said the money would be used for administrative costs and environmental reviews. But Miller said the county has paid for everything at the park, and they're not going to pay any more.

"It's easy enough to plow up the blacktop, take down our shelter, playground equipment, put it somewhere it's going to be used and appreciated," Miller said.

Books told Local 6 he wants to negotiate and the TVA would be willing to consider reducing the $5,000 fee.
Miller wants it waived.

The TVA spokesperson said he doesn't know what would happen if the county and TVA didn't reach an agreement or if they'd kick the county off that property.

In the letter sent to the county, the TVA also addressed safety concerns about exposed steel beams and pipe left behind from an access ramp.  Miller said that issue has been taken care of.

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