Below is a letter I sent earlier this week regarding the SportsPlex analysis. I think we are all interested public opinion on this topic. We probably cannot “slow boat” this analysis without consequences. 🧐👇
VIA EMAIL ONLY:
Judge Executive Craig Clymer
Commissioner Bill Bartleman
Commissioner Jeff Parker
Deputy Judge Steve Doolittle
RE: SportsPlex Report and Analysis
The purpose of this correspondence is to provide a written report as to our meeting with Norm Gill of Pinnacle Indoor Sports. On April 22, 2019, Commissioner Bill Bartleman and I met with Norm Gill of Pinnacle Indoor Sports and Tim Stonecipher of the SportsPlex to view the SportsPlex building and property. The following is a summary of the information we received from Norm Gill’s initial evaluation (along with a few of my thoughts).
- Norm was very familiar with the type of building as he has previously built similar buildings. Norm estimated that the price for a “turn-key” building like the SportsPlex would be approximately $8,000,000.00 plus the cost of land. Norm conceded that the building is probably too large and is probably not the size he would recommend for our community. However, Norm also observed that the interior walls separating two significant sized areas of the building could be removed and the building could be repurposed to include a running track or even an elevated running track. Norm also suggested that the building could be easily retrofitted to include additional activities that would complement sports activities and general community use.
- Significantly, with regard to the “100 year flood plain”, Norm discounted much of the prior expressed concern about the location of the property as either in or near a flood plain. Norm said he has worked on projects all across the nation. In the Eastern United States, communities are actually intentionally building outdoor sports fields in flood retention basins knowing that those basins will flood. Important to the analysis is the type of flooding which could occur. “Standing water” as opposed to “turbulent water” makes a significant difference in the analysis. Also important to the analysis is the expected length of time the flood water will remain. According to Norm, occasional backwater flooding can actually be good for a field.
- During the session, we also obtained a site map which shows the elevations of the property. The property near the road has an elevation of 341 feet. The lowest elevation on the property is on the back left corner near Black Branch. That elevation is 6 feet lower than the road at 335 feet. Norm suggested that a high percentage of the concern regarding flooding could be accommodated by building moats around the fields raising the level of the field with the extra fill which will result from the creation of the moats. You may have noticed that Mike Miller Park in Marshall County has moats around its small soccer fields.
- You will notice that the attached drawing has the layout of potential soccer fields and we were shown additional drawings in which there has been previous analysis of obtaining additional undeveloped property for even more fields.
- I think it is a very important consideration that this property is immediately adjacent to a state highway. Let me say that point one more time. This property is immediately adjacent to a state highway which neither the City nor the County has to maintain (with an existing traffic light). In addition, the infrastructure including utilities, water and sewer are all immediately adjacent to this property.
- We also learned that immediately behind the SportsPlex, the owners have previously developed a baseball field in which water lines for a sprinkling system have already been prepared or installed.
- We also learned that the lake near the back edge of the property is actually a constructed lake by the owners for the purpose of possible recreational uses. In one of my most recent visits, I encountered a local fisherman who told me he fishes the lake nearly every weekend and it has an abundance of good sized bass. He also told me the only place he has ever seen standing water is in the back left corner near the elevation of 335 feet.
- As a parent, I cannot over emphasize the convenience of having the SportsPlex located near McCracken County’s High School. The convenience that comes from having these activities all located at the same spot will make parenting and the logistics of “after school activities” much easier on parents and students.
- I have been told by a local developer that he has significant interest in our preservation of the SportsPlex and our efforts to preserve the SportsPlex are encouraging to his efforts to develop a new subdivision near the SportsPlex property.
- I believe that it is imperative that we act quickly and purposefully on this project. I believe a high percentage of McCracken County will be disappointed if we let this property become something other than the SportsPlex. I am very convinced “timing is of the essence.”
- I believe this is an opportunity to work toward a City County Park Service and the elimination of this property from consideration because it lies just outside City limits is inconsistent with a notion of a potential City County Park Service. Admittedly, this topic has not received a lot of our conversation to date but please know this commissioner has interest in such a plan.
Please contact me with your questions.
Edwin A. Jones
Enclosures: Topographic Survey
Preliminary Site Plan
cc: Mayor Harless
Paducah City Commissioners
P.S. I represent the City of Oak Grove, Kentucky in some civil litigation. In a “government type” conversation, the Mayor told me that both Christian County and the City of Oak Grove charge a separate hotel tax. (Interesting!)
LT City County re SportsPlex pros
Plex Preliminary Site Plan
Plex Topographic Survey