(Northern Kentucky)-Two representatives of the new Fiscal Court of Boone County have met with attorneys representing Answers in Genesis concerning AIG’s lawsuit against the county. The previous Fiscal Court refused to grant the ministry a zone change needed to build a Creation Museum and office complex; AIG appealed this decision in a lawsuit filed with the Boone County Circuit Court.
At the recommendation of new Judge-Executive Gary Moore, who now leads the Fiscal Court, AIG has re-filed an application for a new zoning designation called “Public Facility,” rather than “Industrial.” Mr. Moore was quoted by the Kentucky Post (January 23) as saying that the new zoning will not be “as intrusive to the residents…it does not set a precedent of creating an industrial zone.” As a result, AIG has put its lawsuit on hold during the new rezoning process.
In a news release, Commissioner Robert Hay-another member of the Fiscal Court-declared: “The driving factor here is to save taxpayers’ dollars in legal expenses to defend the suit and in damages that might be awarded to AIG.”
A public hearing on the new zoning request will be held on March 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Boone County Administration Building in Burlington. At that time, AIG will attempt to allay any lingering concerns that its future neighbors and Planning Commission may have about the project. Already, more than 2,600 signatures in support of the museum have been collected on petitions distributed in the area. In addition, 560 people have written letters to the county in support of the Creation Museum, and only 2 against according to county records.
Before the March 3 public hearing, Pastor Ron Stinson of Bullittsburg Baptist Church (near the proposed museum property) will be holding a forum that would allow area residents to share their views on the museum. His public forum will be held this Wednesday, February 24, at 7:00 p.m. at the church, located at 2616 Bullittsburg Church Road, Burlington, Kentucky. (For information, call Pastor Stinson at 689-4945 or 1-800-537-0786.) AIG staff and legal counsel will be on hand to answer people’s questions, and members of the Fiscal Court are expected to attend.
In related AIG news…the proposed museum jumped to a new level with the recent purchase of millions of dollars (estimated) worth of exhibits and equipment for only $19,000. AIG staff traveled to Maryland for a “going out of business” auction at the Columbus Center on Baltimore Harbor. Included in AIG’s purchases was a walk-through fish (over 54-feet long and 18-feet high at the fin) that cost $343,000 to design and build. The Baltimore Sun newspaper reported that AIG purchased one of the museum’s “most visible icons.”
AIG was also the top bidder on a walk-through human cell exhibit (14’ x 26’)-designed and constructed for $580,000. Also being brought back from Baltimore on 10 tractor-trailers are dozens of touch-screen computers and laser disc players, an exceptional exhibit on DNA and chromosomes, a gene works exhibit, a 500-gallon marine aquarium, and a large fabricated rock mountain (with a 600-gallon active waterfall).
Ken Ham, President of AIG, noted that along with AIG’s “collection of life-sized dinosaur models and a huge collection of minerals and fossils, the addition of the Baltimore exhibits makes our museum ready to rival natural history and science museums across America. With AIG’s museum, however, visitors with be presented with a Biblical view of Earth history, not an evolutionary one.”