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Mayor Seeking Donations, Grants for Proposed Lu-Ray Park

Muhlen LuRay artist rend 1CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (4/9/14) — Central City Mayor Barry Shaver has told SurfKY News that the city is ready to move ahead to create a three-acre park on the former site of the historic Lu-Ray Hotel.

The price tag is set at just under $1 million, according to Shaver.

"This has been on the drawing board for almost three years," Shave said. "We are excited to move ahead with the project. We think this is something that the entire county can take pride in."

The park will be named in honor of the historic Lu-Ray Hotel, which was built in 1912 and stood behind the current Central City First National Bank for most of the 20th century, according to Shaver.

"...this will be our gift to our children and grandchildren." — CC Mayor Barry Shaver

"The Lu-Ray was a big part of Central City's history," Shaver said. "It was a first-class hotel, and served as a destination for travelers and railroad employees for decades through the early and mid-20th century. Numerous steam engines stopped there daily. It was truly the center of Central City. We have acquired three acres of property where the original hotel stood. This is like history going full circle. We feel this will help to bring more activities and events back to downtown Central City."

According to Shaver, the park will consist of several permanent structures.

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"The park will include an amphitheater with lights and sound equipment for concerts and outdoor movies," Shaver said. "There will be a veterans memorial, a walking trail and bridge over Cypress Creek, concessions, restrooms, lighting and state of the art security."

Shaver said that the city is already pursuing grants and has received several private donations.

"We hope that businesses and individuals will step up and help speed up the process," he said. "We will have naming rights for some structures, and other ways to recognize those, who help make this park a reality."

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Shaver said the city plans to set up displays of the proposed park in area banks and libraries so that the public can see what the plans are for the project.

"We realize we'll probably have to do this in two phases," Shaver said. "We think we can save some money doing some of the work ourselves. But my thoughts on this are that this will be our gift to our children and grandchildren. I think once people see the plans and the architect's design ideas, everyone will be as excited as we with the city government are about this."

Shaver did not give a timetable for the start of the project.

For more information about how to donate to the Lu-Ray Festival Park Fund, call city hall at (270) 754-5097.

Paul McRee
SurfKY News
Photo Proposed Illustrations by Carmel Rich

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