A Christmas lights display at the NCM Motorsports Park and a Menards store in Bowling Green each took a step closer to reality Tuesday.

The Bowling Green City Commission unanimously approved NCM Motorsports Park’s request for $152,354 to install electrical wiring that would allow the park to host an annual Christmas lights display from mid-November through December.

The funds are from the Special Tourism Projects Fund of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bureau Executive Director Sherry Murphy said the display “will be a really great addition” to the tourism-related attractions in the region.

Commissioner Sue Parrigin said she believes the attraction “will bring people to the community.”

The nonprofit NCM Motorsports Park is planning to spend $140,000 per year to rent the lights, which are expected to draw thousands of visitors each year, starting this Christmas season.

The wiring would also allow for other night events to be held at the park.

The funding request was also approved Monday by Warren Fiscal Court.

Also approved unanimously Tuesday was the first reading of a rezoning for the region’s first Menards store.

The 175,000-square-foot store along Campbell Lane and Eastland Street will sell groceries, building materials, tools and fixtures.

Development plan calls for a retail strip center and restaurants to be built around the store as well.

The plan includes two entrances off Campbell Lane into the development, with a traffic light at one of them. It also calls for a connection off Highland Way.

In response to questions from commissioners, City-County Planning Commission Executive Director Ben Peterson said Menards plans to build a fence and maintain a 50-foot buffer between the store and adjoining residential areas.

City commissioners also approved a $347,880 bid from Vescio’s Sportsfields of Lexington to build a synthetic turf field at Lampkin Park.

The field would be configured for futsal – a version of soccer played on a basketball-style court with a smaller ball – but “could be used for multiple purposes,” City Manager Jeff Meisel said.

The synthetic turf would also be a valuable addition to the parks and recreation department because it could be used regardless of the weather, department director Brent Belcher said.

The field would replace an asphalt court at the park.

– Follow News Director Wes Swietek on Twitter @BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Wes Swietek is the Bowling Green Daily News News Director.

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