Showing what a little hard work and dedication can get you, a group of lake friends took matters into their own hands recently when docks were condemned December 2016 at Lake Malone State Park. The state had said there was no money in the budget to repair the old docks, which also held the only gasoline pump on the lake. However, that did not stop the Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress, Friends of Lake Malone and the Kentucky State Parks Foundation from uniting and immediately working towards getting the docks reopened. After hearing the news, this non-stop force wouldn’t take “no funds available” for an answer.
The Kentucky Department of Parks released a statement on why they were closing the docks. “Due to safety concerns, the state-owned marina at Lake Malone State Park has been closed.” Those safety concerns included deteriorating structures at the state’s marina such as rotting boards underneath the main walk boards, disintegrated floating devices, and dock board surfaces.
Earlier this year, the Parks Department used $18 million approved by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and the General Assembly as part of a campaign titled “Refreshing the Finest,” which was used for improvements including structural repairs, painting and interior, and exterior upgrades in Kentucky’s state parks. Lake Malone State Park was not one of the parks which received the funding, however.
Lake Malone is a 788-acre reservoir lake created in 1961. It is named for Mr. and Mrs. Wallace C. Malone who donated land for the lake.
Soon after hearing the news of condeming the docks, the gropu of lake freinds began attending fiscal court meetings, and knocking on doors, soon raising the $250,000 needed to restore the docks. They are hoping to have them open by Memorial Day weekend.
Helping to get the docks open once again were the Felix E. Martin Foundation who started off the project with a $200,000 donation. From there the tourism commissions in Greenville and Central City threw in funds, as did many property owners on the lake. Most recently, the Logan County Fiscal Court pledged up to $30,000 to rebuild the docks, as the lake has a majority of Logan Countians owning property there. Logan County has 330 property owners on the lake.
Magistrate Drexel Johnson made the motion that contributed the funds at the Tuesday, March 14th Logan Counyt Fiscal Court meeting. His motion passed with all fellow magistrates with the exception of Judge Executive Logan Chick who voted no.
“I know this will benefit Logan County and I’m not against contributing to the project, but there are other counties out there that are impacted by the project who haven’t donated yet,” said Chick.
Magistrate Thomas Bouldin voted yes on the motion with the stipulation that if bids for the project came back less than the $220,000 already collected, the county would not need to contribute.
Lyle McDonald of the Wild Bill community attended the fiscal court meeting speaking on the dock project.
“I support the Lake Malone docks. I know Logan County has the most residents living at the lake,” said McDonald hoping the county would contribute.
Donald Phelps, President of the Friends of Lake Malone State Park stated, “The dock area provides access to the lake for so many residents and tourists each year – those in boats, those at the campground, and those who want to fish from the docks. We have been humbled by the way that our whole community has jumped in to help keep the docks open for everyone.”
All donations to the project are tax-deductible and can be made by check or credit card. Checks should be made out to the Kentucky State Parks Foundation with “Friends of Lake Malone” specified on the check. These can be mailed to Friends of Lake Malone, 331 St. Rte. 8001, Dunmor, KY 42339. For credit card donations, visit www.kentuckystateparksfoundation.org/donate. Be sure to designate that your gift is for the Friends of Lake Malone.
Questions about the project or donations can be directed to Gary Jones of Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress at 270-338-4102, Molly Caldwell of Kentucky State Parks Foundation at 859-351-8430, or Roger Griffin of the Friends of Lake Malone at 270-657-3111.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.