Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams and Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton jointly announced on Sunday that a grant has been awarded to improve the Middle Creek National Battlefield.
The announcement was provided prior to the Battle of Middle Creek reenactment on Sunday, with Stapleton and Williams standing on the kettlebottom rock at the battlefield to address attendees.
“There was some money granted two years ago, and it’s just been laying in a piece of paper promising it,” Stapleton said.
Williams reported that he received the paperwork for this grant from the Kentucky Department for Local Government on Friday, reporting that the work can start “immediately” after the paperwork is signed and returned to the state.
“A couple of years ago, there was an application sent in to the Department of Local Government, to get funds to do the asphalt for the parking lot and trails. It’s not been pursued,” Williams said. “Since I got in, we worked with the folks in Frankfort and we got the documents on Friday. We got $100,000 for the parking lot, to get it asphalted, and the trails.”
The fiscal court, under its prior administration, approved seeking a $100,000 grant from the Department of Local Government and the state’s recreational trails program in April 2018. The request came from Floyd Davis, a Friends of Middle Creek member who died this year. Davis, who had difficulty walking at the time, explained to the fiscal court how difficult it is to use a wheelchair on the graveled parking lot at the battlefield. He told fiscal court members the funding would also make it easier for people with physical limitations to access trails at the park, which are partially paved.
Floyd County will be required to provide 20 percent in matching funds for the grant.
Williams reported that work is underway for the frame of the Abraham Lincoln statue and officials hope to move it to the battlefield within 60 days.
“We want to make sure that we get it fixed, so that it’s going to last for 20 years,” Williams said. “We don’t want to set it up and start working on it again in a year or two.”
Stapleton also reported that Prestonsburg released its first bid for the rail-to-trail project, which will connect to the battlefield.
“The bid will be let about the middle of October and we’ll follow that up about two weeks later with another one. All local contractors are going to be doing it. We’re going to pay for local contractors. And we’re going to have a 10.2 mile trail, asphalted, that will access the park right over here,” Stapleton said. He said the city will build a bridge to access the battlefield from the rail trail.