Baby D's Bagels
$20 Worth of Food and Drink for Only $10

January 25, 2012

Ark over troubled waters

Despite sluggish fundraising and delays, Beshear proposes $11.1 million in road construction for Ark Encounter

On Jan. 17, Gov. Steve Beshear presented his proposed two-year state budget, which includes “painful cuts” of up to 8.4 percent in many agencies in order to make up for a nearly $300 million shortfall.

“It’s a budget that — to be candid — is inadequate for the future needs of our people,” Beshear said.

Of the $286 million in cuts, $50 million is from the funding formula for K-12 schools, along with a 6.4 percent cut to higher education, which Beshear notes will “risk jeopardizing progress we’ve made over decades in education.”

However, $11.1 million was allocated in the transportation budget to fund road improvements for KY-36 in Grant County, from its interchange at Interstate 75 through a mile west in Williamstown, a town with a population of roughly 3,500.

Why such a high price tag? To accommodate the millions of visitors from around the country that the Beshear administration expects to visit Ark Encounter — the proposed evangelical theme park featuring a “life-size” model of Noah’s Ark, which is the brainchild of the Answers in Genesis ministry.

Beshear has already taken heat — and turned Kentucky into the butt of many a joke around the country — for championing $43 million in possible tax incentives for the park’s owners, despite separation of church and state concerns.

Others question the wisdom of Kentucky — which Beshear admits struggles due to the lack of an educated labor force — endorsing a project that will send this “educational” message: the “historic truth” of a worldwide flood a few thousand years ago, in which a 600-year-old man and his family wrangled two of every animal (including dinosaurs) to safety on a giant wooden boat.

But as Kentucky prepares to spend millions on transportation infrastructure for the park, many are beginning to wonder if and when Ark Encounter will ever be built.

Ark Encounter LLC initially announced that their groundbreaking would be in the spring of 2011. That date was pushed back to the summer, then the fall, and eventually to this spring.

Accompanying this delay was a stall in fundraising. Though Answers in Genesis had managed to raise $3 million of its $24.5 million goal in May of 2011, by mid-December, their total was stuck at $4.3 million.

Though Tourism Cabinet officials tell LEO Weekly they have not been in recent contact with park representatives, emails obtained via open records request reveal Answers in Genesis has in fact shared details about difficulties getting the project off the ground.

In late October, Todd Cassidy, executive director of the Tourism Cabinet’s Office of Financial Incentives, wrote Answers in Genesis senior vice president Mike Zovath seeking an update on fundraising and when construction would begin.

In response, Zovath replied: “Todd, we actually considered an official ground breaking earlier this month but too many complexities got in the way so we ended up putting it on hold until everything is worked out. Funding is progressing, a little slower due to the very slow economy.”

Zovath went on to list issues concerning permits and the purchase of property that continued to delay construction. Despite difficulties raising money, he optimistically stated that they would begin taking visitors even before their planned spring of 2014 opening.

In a Dec. 29 story in The Christian Post, Answers in Genesis disputed previous LEO Weekly reports on sluggish fundraising and delayed construction, countering that December and January are their best fundraising months, and they should see “another spike” by mid-January. However, according to their website, funds raised still remain shy of $5 million.

As for the road construction laid out in the Transportation Cabinet’s six-year highway plan, the 2013 fiscal budget allocates $850,000 to the initial design phase, with the following year spending $400,000 acquiring the right-of-way and $750,000 relocating utilities. The road construction, which totals over $9 million, is budgeted for 2015.

Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe says the $11.1 million figure was derived from a preliminary study using traffic modeling for four different yearly attendance scenarios for Ark Encounter — the low figure being 900,000 and the high figure being well over 2 million visitors by its 10th year.

Such attendance figures would rival King’s Island near Cincinnati, one of the highest-attended thrill ride parks in the country. Ark Encounter has only announced one future ride at their park: a slow-moving track in which one experiences “the 10 plagues of Egypt.”

But Wolfe notes that just because a project is funded in the governor’s budget does not necessarily mean it will go forward.

“The legislature can and does amend the highway plan,” Wolfe says. “So it’ll be a while before we know what the actual plan provides for.”

If Ark Encounter winds up not being built, the good news for taxpayers would be that the company would not be eligible for the full $43 million in tourism tax incentives. And while those in Grant County would be burnt — as they have already given land and tax breaks to the owners, in response to promises of jobs and prosperity — they might end up with some very nice wide-laned roads for their drive through the farm land west of tiny Williamstown.

LEO asked the Beshear administration if they are concerned about spending millions of tax dollars on infrastructure for a project with such financial difficulties, but they deferred all questions to the Transportation Cabinet.

Others who might lose out if Ark Encounter never comes to fruition are the people who have given Answers in Genesis nearly $5 million in donations for the park, without receiving any disclaimers about refunds.

When asked by Talking Points Memo in December if Answers in Genesis would return funds in such a scenario, Zovath couldn’t say.

“You’d have to contact the donors.” 

Great website. Plenty of

By kitapbigi
Great website. Plenty of helpful information here. I'm sending it to some pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you on your effort! evim şahane-yatak odası-bedava chat-chat-islami rüya tabirleri-evim şahane

It should be checked in the

By CendyGerry
It should be checked in the lab. So they can know the matters with the water and automatically they can get the solution for it. private investigator training online

The water cycle is so one

By brunomichelle
The water cycle is so one thing that is very important to be maintained. There are many areas that become damaged and dry because there is no water. http://gogetspace.com/seo-hosting

Water has become one of the

By michaellenchez
Water has become one of the necessities of human beings and other creatures. However, water in large amounts can make a disaster for many living things. http://locksmithandbarrel.com.au/

Not all people understand

By paulmenhoust
Not all people understand exactly how to use water and the cycle well. But there are enough people who care and are trying to avoid the danger of water. custom silicone bracelets

That is deforested and the

By antoncravitz
That is deforested and the absence of trees would be one thing very dangerous. Water reserves to be used by humans can be discharged blink of an eye. Learn more on Alaska Fishing Trips with Andersen

Your mode of telling all in

By qurb2fb
Your mode of telling all in this paragraph is genuinely pleasant, all be capable of without difficulty understand it, Thanks a lot. www.yachtbooker.com

Ark's will always be

By BonneiBernnet
Ark's will always be associated with large water. You can see the history of religion in human life and about Noah. furniture stores toronto

Water will be a need for a

By allenfredrico
Water will be a need for a lot of people from the past until later. Therefore, you have to eliminate the problems associated with water. Top Commercial Property Tax Loans, view site

Cooking can make a girl full

By alone17
Cooking can make a girl full of the energy to attrat others,if you don't know how to cook you can finish cake games online for example before in real kitchen ,it will teach you how to cook the food you like,in fact cooking games have been introduced as girls of all ages find extreme pleasure in cooking. facebook marketing

Your doctorate dissertation,

By sarazara2
Your doctorate dissertation, protected at the School Bernard Werber Menton are for several weeks about a big marrade the java CNRS. Teamspeak

makeup School

By jenis56
Thanks for such a great article here. I was searching for something like this for quite a long time and at last I’ve found it on your blog. It was definitely interesting for me to read about web applications and their market situation nowadays. photographic make up

I like your post. It is good

By sarazara2
I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed. hormone replacement. Guardians of the Galaxy download

Project Management Software

By jameshopper410
Excellent understand personally, This is just what We needed. Cheers regarding expressing this excellent write-up! That's very intriguing Smile I like reading in addition to We are always trying to find beneficial information similar to this! to visit on Project Management Simplified Diamosoft Project Management Solution

Cheers regarding expressing

By sarazara2
Cheers regarding expressing this excellent write-up! That's very intriguing Smile I like reading in addition to We are always trying to find beneficial information similar to this. last minute travel deals

I really appreciate your

By passionlab
I really appreciate your post. It gives an outstanding idea that is very helpful for all the people on the web. Thanks for sharing this information and I'll love to read your next post too read more

You're so cool

By jolijorden2
Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Very helpful information particularly the last part I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck. ipage hosting review

The absence of forest to one

By antoncravitz
The absence of forest to one of the things that make up the water becomes difficult. Everyone can not necessarily make a good back woods quickly. Learn about Seattle Commercial Electrician

If the Congressional Price

By sarazara2
If the Congressional Price range Workplace, Lecturer Krugman and others were correct, this design would be missing during a economic downturn, because the requirement just isn’t there, and requirement will not incredibly appear merely because of the appearance of the advantage fatigue time frame. Event Planning NYC

Ark Encounter LLC initially

By passionlab
Ark Encounter LLC initially announced that their groundbreaking would be in the spring of 2011. That date was pushed back to the summer, then the fall, and eventually to this spring http://incometherapy.com

Others question the wisdom

By passionlab
Others question the wisdom of Kentucky — which Beshear admits struggles due to the lack of an educated labor force — endorsing a project that will send this “educational” message: the “historic truth” of a worldwide flood in selling used textbooksbuy textbook a few thousand years ago, in which a 600-year-old man and his family wrangled two of every animal (including dinosaurs) to safety on a giant wooden boat.

Once again great post. You

By Aisin
Once again great post. You seem to have a good understanding of these themes.When I entering your blog,I felt this. Come on and keep writting your blog will be more attractive. To Your Success! http://www.watchoh.com/ http://www.qcwatches.com/

This is a nice blog.I wish

By mukter
This is a nice blog.I wish to express my appreciation of your writing skill as well as ability to make viewer, see the whole thing to the end.Another excellent example of innovation, I am happy to locate it.dwi lawyer new braunfels

This is definitely so

By don44
This is definitely so amazing on what they have been able to do here. So much history that goes a long with this. The options are endless with this work. Alarm Force Review

I really appreciate your

By mukter
I really appreciate your post.It gives an outstanding idea that is very helpful for all the people on the web.Thanks for sharing this information and I'll love to read your next post too. attorneys Dallas

I really appreciate your

By passionlab
I really appreciate your invest in gold post. It gives an outstanding idea that is very helpful for all the people on the web. Thanks for sharing this information and I'll love to read your next post too.

It was a time when online

By william 4000
It was a time when online shopping in Pakistan was not considered safe due to the fake transactions of the credit cards. Now a days, cash on delivery service by various couriers has made it easy to buy online in Pakistan. Watches Watches in Pakistan Watches prices in pakistan

its awesome

By jogindar
Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. Ill definitely be back. delhi-website-designingcompany

i would like to add

By ray12
S&P 500 Gday, I want to ask you something. Is this site a wordpress blog? I'm making plans for switching our web site from Blogger to wordpress, do you think that is possible?

I got somehow impressed

By valeria98
I got somehow impressed after reading all of this because it has some quality work and insight. Conclusions you made on your own, so thats very valuable for readers like me. http://binaereoption.bloggplatsen.se/

nice

By deepak
Thats very nice! You should appreciate the pains taken by Beshear http://www.ifeel.edu.in

En achetant industrie du

By Ariel
En achetant industrie du luxe, sacs à main de créateurs veulent toujours toucher, rester éveillé et calme est la première chose importante que nous voulons de fa?on professionnelle en tout temps d'analyser la valeur de ces couvertures sacs à main designer et le degré de la mode, tout à fait normal d'aller traiter, bien que le prix européen nous donne un grand avantage de prix, mais pourrait faire face à toute menace d'un portefeuille d'explosion.Peut sac chanel totalisera plusieurs sacs et puis ils distribuent charme finalement me laisser irrationnel, démarre achat.Que le vieux cuir de vachette doit être souple, plus aimable. Ce paquet a un accident, parce que nous avons obtenu le message exact Europe prochainement chanel ajustement des prix comptoir en Avril, basé sur l'expérience passée prix chanel Hausses sac hermes prévision peut dépasser 10%, même si elle est le premier choix de rouge, mais l'Europe a compteurs bient?t être évacués, agir de manière décisive pour acheter un noir classique, obtenir nos mains ne regrette pas, car il est vraiment sauvage.

I don't want to get to the

By lappappu
I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. buy saree blouse online

Now a days, cash on delivery

By sevenstarwatches
Now a days, cash on delivery service by various couriers has made it easy to buy online in Pakistan. Watches / Watches in Pakistan / Watches prices in Pakistan

The Environmental Protection

By cciting
The Environmental Protection Agency rolled into town last week. 192.168.1.1 192.168.0.1 192.168.2.1

They should check the water.

By ShawnBride
They should check the water. Maybe there are still chance to fix the quality of the water. Dodge Houston

through the policies and

By alone17
through the policies and rules, and procedure functions that are experienced be the kids directly. cenaless comprar

pretty interesting topic..so

By gabi
pretty interesting topic..so nice article about the place being feature to this topic.. it was nicely written,, the paragraph was written constructively,, it can really attract readers and visitors,,,, your site is worth visiting because you always provide informative information.
buy soundcloud followers

I like this,” Dylan says.

By reshhia
I like this,” Dylan says. “I can hit things and not get in problems. Houston catering service company

Attractive section of content

By MigdaliaLathrop
Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after looking at many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly delighted I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often! resources

Fully perceive what your pose on this issue

By MigdaliaLathrop
What’s Happening i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Good job santa clara limo san francisco airport transportation car service sfo.

Through the guidelines and

By reshhia
Through the guidelines and guidelines, and process features that are knowledgeable be the children straight. www.bubblegumcasting.com

Houlteninstitute.com

By steve7876
Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. Houlteninstitute.com

Info Supremo

By Frankie M
Because of his commitment to his clients an Atlanta Family Law Attorney has had great success in the courtroom. He believes there is no substitute for preparation. His commitment to the process of trial advocacy has resulted in considerable success for his clients. A significant portion of his practice has focused on http://www.atlanta-family-law-attorney.com. These matters often involve both complex legal issues and complicated emotional issues. He and his firm have significant experience in litigation related to both the distribution of marital assets, and the protection of a parent’s child custody rights. He has handled both interstate and international adoptions as well as international custody fights. He is experienced in using mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law as alternative methods of dispute resolution in divorce cases.

I really appreciate your

By reshhia
I really appreciate your spend money on silver publish. It gives an excellent concept that is very beneficial for all the individuals on the web. montague bikes

Thanks for sharing this great article

By arcarro
Thanks so much for writing all of the excellent information! ar condicionado automotivo

Interesting, my opinion is

By rdokoye
I'm all for positive infrastructal development, though I've never been to the area, I'm certain it's much needed.

All mobile phones

By jackman30
All mobile phones manufactured today using 2G or later mobile phone wireless standards use SIM or Universal Integrated Circuit Card https://www.rebelmouse.com/michaelfioresecretsurveyreview/

This was an easy install. I

By BenHCarson
This was an easy install. I was just like you...researching all the books here on Amazon.com for something that would tell me what to eat and what not to eat so I could get some kind of relief from the pain and horrible discomfort of Crohn's! My doctor provided as much help and percriptions as she could but could give me absolutly no advise on what to and what not to eat (that wouldn't hurt!). It was a little tricky to put on though, more than the tradition bumper anyway. very happy with them! This product is fabulous!! When you get a facial that usually costs upwards of $75.00 the first thing done to your face is exfoliating the dead cells. creates a lot of carbonation when mixed. Should have done this a long time ago. It is easy to set and easy to use. The bent spoon will likely get you a slightly better pour since you can hold it closer to the level of the beer, but that's not as fun. I used to be a professional metal fabricator and appreciate the precision required to attain such accuracy of fit. I carefully bumped up the time until I found that 3 minutes did the trick, and this worked fine for a week, until it caught fire yesterday in my kitchen! Instructions say to lay it flat in the microwave - unless you have an enormous oven I'd say that's impossible.

Enormous ark needed to

By enjicardigans
Enormous ark needed to transport humans and various types of creatures when there is a large water came to earth. It is a piece of history of Noah. Visit Website for Reverse Mortgage Lender Seattle