$10 Million For Floyds Fork Park

Told you earlier about the presser at Floyds Fork.

Here are the details.

See the entire press release about the $10 million announcement after the jump…

Governor Beshear announces $10 million commitment to Parklands of Floyds Fork

Lauds ‘vision’ of project to create 4,000 acres of public parks in Floyds Fork watershed

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 9, 2010)– Gov. Steve Beshear today announced a commitment of $10 million to The Parklands of Floyds Fork – a visionary project to create a new system of public parks covering approximately 4,000 acres of the Floyds Fork watershed in Jefferson County.

“We are making an investment in a vision,” Gov. Beshear said. “The vision is of a world-class parks system that will become a treasured legacy for the people of Jefferson County and the region. Every generation that comes to enjoy these parks and the Floyds Fork watershed will represent a return on that investment.”

“The Floyds Fork parks project is providing a tremendous gift for Kentucky,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “With 4,000 acres of space, the parks will provide ample opportunity for recreation and adventure tourism, such as hiking, bicycling and canoeing, as well as a picturesque place to spend time with family and friends.”

The Governor and Mrs. Beshear were joined in a ceremonial check presentation by Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, David A. Jones Sr. and Dan Jones. The Joneses – father and son – founded 21st Century Parks, a nonprofit organization that is overseeing the design, construction and management of The Parklands of Floyds Fork. The project comprises four major parks stretching 27 miles through the largely undeveloped watershed.

Funding being committed by the Governor – $10 million over five years – is from the federal Transportation Enhancement program and would support 21st Century Parks’ development effort.

“We are grateful to have the support of Governor Beshear and the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the creation of The Parklands,” said Dan Jones, chairman and chief executive officer, 21st Century Parks. “We’ve designed a master plan for the nearly 4,000 acres of parklands to provide unique opportunities for recreation, education, economic development and environmental preservation for generations of Kentuckians.”

“What we are creating in Floyds Fork will ensure that generations of Louisvillians have access to quality recreational opportunities and natural greenspace,” Abramson said. “It will be to our community’s future what our Olmsted-designed parks have meant to Louisville’s quality of life for more than a century”.

The Parklands will include more than 100 miles of multi-use recreational trails, a portion of the Louisville Loop, children’s playgrounds, a canoe trail, ball fields and other recreational and natural amenities.

All the parks within The Parklands will be interconnected by a continuous scenic park drive and a 20-mile portion of the Louisville Loop, a paved multi-use hiking, walking and cycling path. The park drive is a series of newly constructed roads in combination with existing roads to provide a beautiful driving experience. Approximately 80 percent of the land will be maintained in its natural state.

Major construction on the Parklands is expected to begin in spring of 2011, with the first components opening in 2012. Ground will be broken for the Parklands’ initial demonstration project – a creekside playground and spray park, funded primarily by Louisville Metro Government – later this month.

About 21st Century Parks
Founded in Louisville in 2004, 21st Century Parks is the nonprofit organization leading the creation and management of The Parklands of Floyds Fork – a new, 4,000-acre public parks system along the Floyds Fork watershed in eastern and southeastern Louisville. The new parks system is one of the largest and most ambitious metropolitan park projects in the nation.


22 thoughts on “$10 Million For Floyds Fork Park

  1. Parks are great, more parks are better. I’m happy that this and the Loop are being created, but. . . Despite all their philanthropy, Humana is Pure Unadulterated Evil. It appears that this will be a gov’t funded fiefdom for the Joneses.

  2. How so?

    I’m pretty sure the Jones Family has contributed millions upon millions of their own dough in recent years and have raised countless other millions.

  3. WM Stone,

    People like you are unbelievable. Do you realize where Louisville would be right now without the contributions from the Jones Family – both from the Humana side and from their philanthropic side???

  4. All the money for parks is wonderful (although in my opinion the Humana money is ill gotten gains). As I recall (and I may well be incorrect) the articles in A Kentucky Newspaper never were clear on how much gov’t oversight and control there would be. A gov’t owned and funded park should be operated by the gov’t, in my opinion, not an organization that does not have to answer to the people. What if, heaven forfend, Dan Jones turns into Gilles Meloche? Contributing and raising millions should not entitle one to run thousands of acres of public land without accountability, it’s undemocratic (and yes, I realize I’m a naif tilting at windmills.)

  5. Dino,
    For profit Health Insurance companies are vile. Louisville, Kentucky and the nation would be far better off if we were rid of them years ago and had some other funding mechanism, such as those offered in the rest of the developed world.

  6. Doctors are allowed to make a profit,

    Hospitals can make a profit,

    Pharmaceutical makers can make a profit,

    Nursing homes can make a profit,

    Home care companies can make a profit,

    Medical device makers can make a profit,

    Medical supply companies can make a profit,

    Trial lawyers can make a profit,

    Media outlets that broadcast ads for medical-related goods and services can make a profit,

    Advertising firms can make a profit,

    Building owners that lease space to physicians can make a profit,

    Liability and malpractice insurers can make a profit,

    HOWEVER….a health care insurance services provider that collects, administers, and disperses the money directly or indirectly to many of the groups noted above, is “Pure Unadulterated Evil.”

    Mr. Stone, if you feel that any profits obtained from the administration of health care services are “ill gotten gains,” then under your definition, every one of the groups noted above, are just as “vile” as Humana.

    They all contribute to the high cost of health care. If you’re going to single out one service provider as vile, you should label them all in a similar fashion.

  7. While I won’t take the position Mr. Stone takes, I think we have to admit that health insurers do not dispense health care services. They are merely financial middlepeople. They are money shufflers. And sometimes, they make very bad decisions that separate people from the care they need.

  8. Neither does NBC, CBS, WHAS, The Courier Journal or any other media outlet that make millions off of running pharmaceutical commercials every 5 min. If you think those costs aren’t directly reflected in the high price for name-brand drugs, you’re kidding yourself.

    In fact, of the above-noted groups, the insurance companies likely have the lowest profit margin.

  9. The US has the highest per capita health care costs in the world, without delivering the best health care in the world. Why? For profit health insurance adds 20%-30% to the cost of health care vs. gov’t run programs that add 2%-3%. They increase their profits by denying care to people that need it. I know people they’ve screwed and I know people who worked at Humana and told me how Humana screws people. A doctor who worked for Humana testified before Congress on how Humana screws people. So, yeah, they’re evil.

  10. These points are all reasonably well-taken. I have another question. Has any thought been given by cabbage head and the goobernor as to how tax much money is going to be needed to nurture, care for, prune, protect and weed-out 4,000 MORE ACRES of land AND how much potential tax revenue has been taken off the tax roles as a result of this 4,000+ acre acquisition? Seems like a responsible business (like Humana IS SUPPOSED TO BE) would have considered this question before jumping off the bridge and receiving such largesse. On the other hand, it’s probably saying too much to think that cabbage head and the goobernor are ‘responsible’ businessmen/politicals.

  11. While the evil or not health insurance debate is interesting. ….. and everyone considers a park a good thing, here’s something to ponder.

    What will be the on going cost to maintain this huge loop around the city be? We already have a huge parks system, this will just add an additional burden to Metro Government to try to find funds to maintain this dream. We’re going to crumble in on ourselves.

  12. Highlander, I wouldn’t be concerned about lost revenue, as indeed there will be development around the new park space. And as we’ve seen with Louisville’s flagship parks, especially Cherokee Park, we’ve seen the attraction of wealth to those vicinities.

    As for maintenance, both you and MetroHack have a point. Iroquois Park is not exactly maintained at an appropriate level, yet here we go adding a lot more park space. Maybe the tax revenue for development around the new space will cover it, but I do have to wonder why we can’t even maintain our existing parks very well.

  13. Mark H – There’s no evil in making a profit and I know that’s the alter at which you worship. It’s HOW you make the profit that counts.

    Profiting from providing care isn’t “vile.” Profiting from denial of care to the sick while granting insurance CEOs obscene compensation IS vile.

    For one example, Aetna’s Ronald Williams received $24,300,112 last year. That’s $467,309.85 per week. That’s one hell of a lot of collecting, administering and dispersing. He must be one talented fellow to be paid a HOUSE a week.

    The fact is, what he and Aetna are rewarded for is NOT providing care, but denying care. Their talent lies not in paying claims, but denying claims so they can continue the racket.

    Comparing that to WHAS or the CJ is absurd. Keeping healthcare costs down will involve ALL of the businesses you listed. But, that doesn’t get the insurance companies and their lobbyists off the hook. I’m aware of your Chamber Of Commerce mentality, and you often argue sensibly, but when you start defending the evil actions of the medical insurance companies, all I can assume is that you or someone you love hasn’t been a victim of their vile policies.

    As for Humana’s philanthropy, well, I guess that’ll buy them a place in heaven which is where many of their former policy holders reside now.

  14. KYGuy, I am not going to say that everything insurance companies do is altruistic. There are certainly bad incidents that you can point to and say they are “evil.”

    First of all, I think we can say the same of most large non-profits and government agencies (see Felner, League of Cities, Metro Animal Services, etc.). So I don’t know that turning the administration of health care services over to the government or a non-profit is going to make the outcome any more divine. Corruption and bad needs are certainly not the exclusive property of capitalistic businesses.

    I would also point out that many times a heath provider like Humana and Aetna are administering the policies of companies. As such, they are following the policy set forth by the union, company, government agency, or group that funds the plan. If Ford or GE dictate the policy regarding what is covered and what is not, and the insurance carrier is following that policy, how are they to blame for the denile? For example, Humana administers the self-funded policy set forth by the State of Kentucky. The coverage payments come of out the State’s budget, not Humana’s.

    I’ll just have to agree to disagree. My experience is that government-run entities tend to be far most costly and inefficient than private for-profit companies providing the same services.

    Just because the bill goes to the taxpayer instead of a company or individual, doesn’t make it cheaper.

    If the desire is to transfer the cost of health care onto the government taxpayer, and by doing so, absolve the 45-50% of the population who currently pay no Federal Income taxes from having to pay for those services, than at least be honest about it.

    However, that model is doomed for collapse because the “rich” can’t sustain that financial burden, even if the government confiscates all of their income.

  15. Steve Magruder: Cherokee Park has experienced 2 new buildings in its immediate environment in 40 years. The Willow and the Condo that Lunsford/Bridgeman,etc. live in. Both were subjects of huge P&Z fights. Everything else surrounding Cherokee Pk was there 40 years ago. Maybe fixed up a little, but there. This doesn’t bode well for your point that development will occur on the edges of parks IN THIS PLACE.

  16. Mark H – We both agree that healthcare costs need to be reduced no matter WHO pays the freight. But your defense is locked into your ideology. You’re right. You’ll just have to disagree. I honestly hope that you don’t discover the truth the hard way. Like so many before you it’s probably be the only way to change your mind, because compassion for people living the nightmare of dealing with insurance companies doesn’t seem to be part of your make up.

  17. Mark H-Despite the assertion that gov’t run entities are more costly & inefficient than private for-profit companies, the rest of the developed world’s health care systems show just the opposite. That is why the public option was fought against fang, tooth and claw. It would have been cheaper and more efficient just as it is everywhere else. Therefore it would have meant the end of for profit health insurance companies, since no one would want to buy their inferior more costly product.

  18. That’s why all of those European medical systems are privatizing, while we are doing the opposite. The costs are not an apples to apples comparison. If you think you are going to receive the same level of high-end (not standard care) that you would receive in the the US, you are kidding yourself.

    The answer may be that we have to ration and eliminate those high-end services for the general public to control costs. As I have said, we can easily afford 1980s-era health care in this country.

    I would love to hear what nationalized systems provide regular neonatal intensive care for 5-6mo old babies, 3D MRI imaging, and regular quadruple bypass surgeries for the elderly. Ours is the most expensive because it’s the best. People are flying here for high-end procedures. Our population’s poor heath has far more to do with our lifestyles, and not the effectiveness of our treatments.

    The Massachusetts experiment certainly doesn’t support your assertions in regards to cost, efficiency, and access.

  19. Now you’re making stuff up. European medical systems are not privatizing. And according to the WHO a poor person in the UK receives healthcare equal to or better than the wealthy in the US.

  20. Do you even read the articles you cite? This from the article on Poland-‘The amount of the GNP spent on health care is on the bottom of the list of OECD countries and is kept low as a policy of forcing the system into the ground as a way to introduce privatization.’
    From one of the articles on privatization in the UK-‘Non-clinical services, such as cleaning contracts, are commissioned from the private sector. This has led to a decline in cleanliness and a corresponding rise in diseases such as the potentially fatal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).’ Stirring endorsements of privatization.
    The articles on the UK and Sweden deal with privatizing health care providers, not setting up private for profit health insurance, which is what we were discussing.
    Dude, you’re blinded by your ideology. I’m done.

  21. I work for Metro Parks. I have some knowledge of the 21st Century Parks development. You don’t have to work for Metro Parks to have this knowledge though, it’s on their website I believe. To answer the question about how they are going to afford “upkeep” IE mowing the grass and maintenance in the future Dan Jones is also raising enough money to create an endowment. This endowment will generate enough interest in perpetuity to pay for these expenses.

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