Russell citizen expresses concerns over park

Apr. 26—RUSSELL — A park set to come to Russell has one citizen worried about the city considering concerns of those who live in close proximity.

Paula Irving, who appeared at the Russell City Council meeting Thursday, brought the topic of a future city park in her residential neighborhood to the forefront. She expressed to the council that people who live around the park area should have input.

"I first came to this council to encourage the planting of trees because it takes them so long to grow and sort of morphed in, as you all know, to wanting a voice for the people living around the park to have a say in its use," she said.

Irving thought the surrounding families near the park would have a voice in the planning but instead learned the park would fall under the jurisdiction of the Russell Tourism Board.

"People called and volunteered to be on what they thought, and I thought, to be a planning committee," Irving said. "Then I was informed that two or three names would be picked from that list to form a park committee.

"Now the park is under the tourism board, which I don't understand," she added. "The difference in a neighborhood park and tourist attraction, my mind just kind of wavers."

She appeared with copies of KRS 100.187 detailing what a comprehensive plan shall contain.

"How can a comprehensive plan be made without the input of the people that will be directly affected by the development of the park?" she said, asking the council.

"I am here tonight to ask this council and members of the tourism board to bring to the table those people who volunteered, so their voices and concerns would be heard," Irving added.

A main reason of worry for her is the increase in children out and about playing in the area.

"Our neighborhood in downtown Russell is a safe place for families to raise kids and we have more and more young children that are living here. They ride bikes, scooters and roam the neighborhood," Irving said.

"A simple playground, swing, something they can climb on or a basketball court are what I hear mostly talked about," she said, listing off what the people in the area have asked for.

Other highlights:

—The City of Russell will join the Northeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce beginning at the start of the next fiscal year. Based on population of 3,600 in Russell, yearly dues were set at $1,800 with a payment plan of $600 every four months.

—Had second reading on establishing mayor and council pay.

(606) 326-2657 —