Ky. governor announces $20M investment in state park improvements

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CARROLLTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has announced plans for an additional $20 million to fund state park improvements.

Bevin announced the kickoff of phase II of the "Refreshing the Finest" initiative on Friday alongside officials with the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and Kentucky State Parks.

The first phase launched in 2016 and invested $18 million in maintenance and operational improvements. Last year, lawmakers allocated an additional $20 million for projects including replacing park lodge roofs, upgrading campgrounds and fixing swimming pools.

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Don Parkinson says the funding is needed to keep aging park buildings operational.

Officials said 133 projects started during the initial phase are nearly complete and have helped boost business, with parks seeing a $7.6 million revenue increase in 2018 compared to 2016.

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