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County commissioners voice opinions on Paducah Sports Park Grandstand

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County commissioners voice opinions on Paducah Sports Park Grandstand

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. — Following a contentious discussion about the future of the Paducah Sports Park Grandstand at Monday’s McCracken County Fiscal Court meeting, county commissioner Bill Bartleman and Judge Executive Craig Clymer took to Facebook to reiterate their stance on the renovation.

The fiscal court decided Monday to table the decision whether to renovate the grandstand or demolish it and look at alternative designs until September. In the meantime, Clymer said he would look for private donors to fund the $8 to $9 million renovation costs.

Bartleman voiced his opposition to the renovation during the meeting, and said the money could be better used elsewhere in the county. He also said people will not remember the Paducah Sports Park for the grandstand, but for the tournament management and field quality.







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“We could build something that is super nice to provide offices, food services, restrooms, seating and other amenities that fits better for much less,” said county commissioner Bill Bartleman about the grandstand.

 




On Wednesday, Bartleman made a Facebook post emphasizing his position opposing the grandstand renovation, and quoted an email he received from a resident who supported his position. 

Bartleman wrote, “There are some benefits to renovating them, but they aren’t worth $8 million … We could build something that is super nice to provide offices, food services, restrooms, seating and other amenities that fits better for much less.”

Bartleman’s post garnered lots of support from people who said they are familiar with travel sports.

Clymer posted on Facebook several hours after Bartleman, and wrote, “A misleading discussion is being promoted urging that the grandstand at our future Sports Park should be demolished, primarily because it will cost us too much to renovate it.”

He continued, saying “critical” facts were “intentionally” omitted from Bartleman’s post. 

“The grandstand renovation will cost us nothing, while demolishing it will cost us over $2 million,” Clymer wrote.







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“The grandstand renovation will cost us nothing, while demolishing it will cost us over $2 million,” Clymer wrote in a post on Facebook.




He said the grandstand will only be renovated if the money is donated privately, while the demolition of the grandstand and alternative plans would cost taxpayers $2.2 million. 

In response to Clymer’s post, Bartleman wrote, “It’s not a misleading discussion. It’s a waste of money no matter how it’s paid for. It’s not needed, you don’t understand the travel ball community.”







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“It’s a waste of money no matter how it’s paid for. It’s not needed, you don’t understand the travel ball community,” Bartleman wrote on Facebook.




In a statement after the interactions on Facebook, Bartleman said, “The judge and I respectfully disagree.”

Clymer also provided a statement about the Facebook posts, emphasizing that the renovation would not cost taxpayers. 

“People are being led to believe that their tax money will be used for renovating the grandstand. That is not true. It will be done with private donations or not done at all,” Clymer said.







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“It will be done with private donations or not done at all,” said McCracken County Judge Executive Craig Clymer about the grandstand renovation.




County commissioner Eddie Jones said Clymer and Bartleman were “both expressing their views” on something that is a “big deal.”

Jones said Clymer “earned” the time to work on finding a private donor.

“We got the land given to us, and who was the principal player in making that happen? Well, that was Craig Clymer … He’s got a vision for a restoration of the grandstand,” Jones said.

He said making their opinions known publicly on social media is a way to receive community feedback.

“To some degree, this is a way that we get surveys. I mean, the truth is, I do look at those posts, and I look at them for what they say of interest,” Jones said. “They do speak to me as a person who, every two weeks, has to vote on how we’re going to spend our public money.”

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