Answers in Genesis, the apologetics ministry of Ken Ham, is working to make it clear that the full-scale Noah’s Ark that it plans to build in Williamstown, KY, will not be constructed with state funds.
“The myth that the Ark will be constructed with funds taken from the Kentucky budget (and presumably away from needed state programs) is rampant,” the ministry noted last week. “We have been informing the media (and writing frequent articles) that no state monies will be used to construct the Ark, yet the myth continues.”
While the Ark Encounter of Answers in Genesis did apply and was granted preliminary approval for a Kentucky tourism incentive that offers proposed tourist attractions the possibility of receiving a future refund of state sales tax collected at such venues, the ministry explains that the incentive only involves a tourist attraction that is already open and fully operational; no money comes from the state treasury to build the facility.
Furthermore, when the Ark Encounter is open and operational, the state of Kentucky will benefit financially as such attractions generate jobs, add sales tax to Kentucky’s treasury, and spur economic development.
“Ultimately, the state’s coffers will benefit tremendously when the Ark opens in Kentucky, as opposed to another state that tried to woo the Ark project,” noted the ministry’s publicist, A. Larry Ross Communications. “There is a huge net gain to Kentucky for having the Ark within its borders, and state services will see even more funds, not fewer.”
Despite repeated attempts to refute the myths being circulated by the media and by bloggers, they continue to resurface.
Still, the project has strong support, including that of Gov. Steve Beshear.
With last week’s preliminary approval of the sales tax refund, the imminent arrival of a permit that will allow excavation to start at the Ark site, and a successful bond offering, construction of the $73 million first phase of the Ark Encounter is expected to begin soon.
In addition to the full-size Ark, the complex will – in subsequent phases – include a walled city much like those found in ancient times, live animal shows, a children’s interactive play area, a replica of the Tower of Babel with exhibits, a 500-seat 5-D special effects theater, an aviary, and a first-century Middle Eastern village.
Depending on fundraising, a grand opening for the full-size Ark and petting zoo could take place as early as 2016.
For information on the Ark Encounter, visit ArkEncounter.com.
By NRB Staff
Published: August 7, 2014