Fayette County

$1.2 million and six years later, city touts cleaned-up pond

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry held a news conference Wednesday to promote a $1.2 million renovation of what had been a stagnant pond adjacent to the Tates Creek schools complex.

With a group of students looking on, he also touted a field day at the pond Saturday that will include a tour and water-quality testing.

But a news release from the city misstated the cost of the project and how long it took.

The release said that the project began "more than two years ago" with dredging and cleaning of the pond.

When Newberry was asked about that, he deferred to Charles Martin, director of the Division of Water Quality, who said the city was awarded an Environmental Protection Agency grant for part of the work in 2003, and dredging began in 2005.

The news release put the project cost at $830,000. Martin said that was the cost of phase two of the project, "which is what everybody sees." That includes things such as a boardwalk, a walking trail, wetlands and devices to strain trash from runoff before it reaches the pond.

Of the $1.2 million spent on the project, the city said, about $376,000 was from federal funds; the rest was local.

The renovated pond is not only better for the environment, but it also will serve as a teaching tool for students from the elementary, middle and high schools, Newberry and Martin said.

Newberry acknowledged two Tates Creek Middle students who won a Gainesway Pond poster contest sponsored by Bluegrass PRIDE: seventh-grader Kyla Kepcha and eighth-grader Mohammad Jalandi.