Metro Council moves to complete transfer of Otter Creek land to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council moves to complete transfer of Otter Creek land to state

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife will pay Metro government $65,000 for the long-awaited transfer of the Otter Creek recreation area in Meade County, according to a resolution that goes before the Louisville Metro Council Tuesday.

The council is to declare the park property as surplus, clearing the way for roughly 2,150 acres to be placed under control of the state agency that has operated the land since 2011.  

The Otter Creek area, which includes wooded hiking trails on bluffs overlooking a bend in the Ohio River some 40 miles south of Louisville, was given to the city in 1947 by the federal government.

Then-Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson announced in late 2008 that the park -- a $500,000 annual cost to the city to operate -- would close in an effort to trim a citywide budget shortfall.  

The purchase price reflects what the city paid for 68 acres it acquired for a park expansion, according to the resolution. The Metro Council's committee on committees is to consider the measure at its 4 p.m. meeting.

The transfer, however, withholds about three acres where the former Otter Creek Park Commission operated a landfill for waste from campsites and ranger stations. The landfill has since been capped for two decades, and Metro government is monitoring it, said Julie Kredens, a Metro Parks spokeswoman.

The state refused to take ownership of the landfill because of the "enduring liabilities now associated with landfills. Metro government will continue the meet its responsibilities through a consulting contract with a private testing company," Kredens said in a statement.

Kredens said the transfer, which began in 2010, was held up as the state reconciled a lease agreement with Camp Piomingo, Kredens said. All federal approvals for the transfer have been secured, she said.

Under the state's operation, Otter Creek offers hunting, fishing, camping and other activities and is open from Wednesday through Sunday.

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