Cycling event racing this way

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By Robin Bass

Taylorsville and Spencer County have been asked to play host to hundreds of cycling enthusiasts this summer during the USA Cycling 2009 Masters Road National Championship.

Local leaders – who are eager to promote tourism in the area – see this event not only as a chance to showcase what the county has to offer, but their willingness to work with athletic event organizers.

“We need to get more involved in sports tourism,” said City Manager Steve Biven. “We need to let people know we are capable of handling (events).”

Members of the Kentucky and the Greater Louisville Sports Commissions hope to use a 7-mile stretch of KY 44-West as one of three legs of a timed trial event this July. Cyclists would start at the high school and race the clock as they ride toward Taylorsville Lake State Park, turn around, and come back. Since participants are being timed individually, groups of only about 50 cyclists would be on the roadway. The event would begin around 8 a.m Wednesday, July 1 and last until possibly 3 p.m.

 “I think we would be crazy not to support them,” said Commissioner Lynda Huckleberry.

According to Spencer County Judge Executive David Jenkins, all that is left is getting approval from the department of transportaion to close part of the highway to vehicle traffic. Organizers are hoping that cyclists could use the two westbound lanes, while motor traffic utilizes the eastbound lanes. Both the city and county leaders expressed some concern about local police being used when they should be protecting citizens, but it was determined that off-duty officers would primarily be used.

Commissioner Jack Proctor, who also serves with Spencer County Economic Development, said EDA members have been in discussions with cycling organizers for the past three months trying to work out the details. He also mentioned that other sporting events could be announced at a later date, such as a possible agreement with the University of Louisville rowing team to utilize Taylorsville Lake.

Both Taylorsville City Commission and Spencer County Fiscal Court pass resolutions in support of the USA Cycling Masters Timed Trial event.

In other city commission news:

• Commissioners approved to spend $900 toward 20 new police barricades. The amount will be matched by a grant, bringing the total amount for the barricades to just over $1,800.

In other fiscal court news:

• Residents were reminded that they have two options when dealing with ice storm debris in the county. The first option is to haul branches to the county road barn, located on Fairgrounds Road during regular business hours. The second option is to pile debris near the edge of roadways for county road crews to remove. Jenkins asked residents utilizing the second option to be patient as crews are working as fast as possible.

• Magistrates passed a motion to enter into a contract with the city to share the cost of moving a two-way radio system from the county road barn to the water tower at Settlers Trace.