Demolition of dilapidated Ski Butler lodge begins July 28

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By Sharon Graves


The News-Democrat

Demolition of Ski Butler, once a site of winter fun and frolic at General Butler State Resort Park, is set to begin Monday, July 28.

J.P. Hauling and Excavating of Glencoe, Ky., was hired by the state to raze the long-abandoned, dilapidated building for $61,842.

County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson announced the  state’s plan at Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting, July 22.

Ski Butler was the brainchild of then-Gov. John Y. Brown and was operated by the state for two years in the 1980s. It was then sold to Paoli Peaks in Indiana, which operated the resort for four years. By that time, the late 1980s, a group of 10 local investors bought the operation, said businessman Duper Craig, who was president of that investor group.

“The operation just couldn’t quite make it on it’s own,” Craig said. “The investors had to keep putting money into it because we never had enough cold weather [for skiing]. It did provide a lot of jobs and gave many kids the chance to learn to ski, and we all enjoyed it.”

The investors sold the operation  in the late 1990s. The ski lodge has been vacant ever since. Plans to renovate it for other uses have come and gone.

Demolition should be completed by Oct. 26. The American Indian Council has a lease on the property to build a cultural center in it’s place, but no announcement has been made as to when that project might begin.

In other business: Tomlinson said Commissioner B.D. Wilson of the state Transportation Cabinet was in Carroll County to inspect the Notch Lick area, where drainage issues are a concern.

Tomlinson said after the visit, he was notified by the cabinet that Carroll County was awarded $50,000 in County Road Aid emergency funds to replace a drainage structure on Notch Lick Road. The court OK’d purchase of a pre-cast bridge for the project.

The court has accepted bids to be let July 25 to repair a slide on State Hwy. 389 near English. The slide was the result of heavy spring rains in the county earlier this year.

Tomlinson said he has received several calls from people along U.S. Highway 42, east of Carrollton, where the highway project has been ongoing for a year.

Residents there are asking that trees be planted where many were cut down to make room for the widening project.

“We are looking for money to do that,” Tomlinson said. “Maybe we can find some from [Urban] Forestry.”

The court re-appointed Jim Fothergill to the Carroll County Public Library Board of Directors. His new term ends June 30, 2012.

Joan Moore, executive director of the Carroll County Community Development Corporation, told the court that the county did not receive a $7,500 grant from the federal Justice Assistance Grant. The county had hoped to use the funds to upgrade radios used by the county sheriff’s office.

Moore said she was told budget cuts in Washington, D.C., has left the JAG fund depleted, and no more grants could be funded.

Old Highway 227, which begins across from Hometown Pizza, needs repairs from damage done when sewers were installed, Tomlinson reported.

He asked for the court to approve $17,369 for the repairs, but Magistrate Dean Miller asked to table the plan until magistrates could inspect the site and see what needs to be done.

“It’s in my district and I want all my roads paved,” Miller said. “But I don’t want to pay for someone else’s work.”

He suggested that if the damage was done during installation, the company that did the work should pay for any repairs.