TALCOTT, (Hinton News) – As part of ongoing infrastructure improvements, John Henry Park in Talcott now has water access. On Thursday, Dec. 1, crews ran water lines across State Route 3/12 to provide access to the park. Park Director Mike Cales was on the scene to oversee the process. Talcott Fire Department provided traffic control.
Cales said, “This is the last stage of our infrastructure for the park.” Earlier in 2022, teams revamped the electrical system. Now, improvements have turned to water. According to Cales, now that the park has water access, they plan to install four outdoor yard hydrants. The current plan is to place one at the welcome center, one between the picnic shelter and restroom area, one near the emergency access gate, and one near the stage.
Except for the pedestrian bridge construction, Cales stated that this is the last major project for the park. Now that lines are run, making water available in the park area, Cales noted that they will likely wait until spring to complete the remaining steps.
In addition to the water project completion, they hope to have a grand opening ceremony for the welcome center in the spring. Following the grand opening, Cales said they face the issue of staffing. He went on to say that he recently received an application to utilize a program that hires senior citizens. While Cales stated that he has not yet had the time to go over the application for requirements, he believes it is one possibility to solve the welcome center staffing problem.
The John Henry Park is a labor love that has been ongoing for many years. The current administration continues to work toward goals to improve the park experience and draw in more visitors. Eventually, Cales said they plan to revitalize and designate several historical sites around the small town to create a walking or biking tour that includes the pedestrian bridge.
According to Cales, this water project is made possible through a grant from National Coal Heritage Area. Cales noted that it is a 50/50 grant. He expressed thanks to all three Summers County Commissions and National Coal Heritage Executive Director Christy Bailey for their support and assistance with the project.
“They [the Commissioners] have been very supportive of this project, all three of them. I’d also like to thank Christy Bailey, the Executive Director of Coal Heritage and her staff for their continued support.”
The park is open to visitors daily.
Hinton News will continue to provide updates on the progress of John Henry Park and related projects.
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