St. Joseph Council Clarifies Details on Proposed $6.1 Million Water Park
ST. JOSEPH - St. Joseph continued discussing a proposed $6.1 million water park on Monday night.
The city council reviewed the project after confusion and frustration arose among members during a meeting in June. Some council members voiced concerns about operating costs, rainy weather impacting an outdoor water park and finding a specific location for the park before moving forward.
During a presentation to the council, council member Dale Wick said the park would likely be open for 105 days from Memorial to Labor Day weekend. The facility is projected to gather just over $285,000 per year if it's open for 78 days in the summer, meaning the park would still be viable if there were 27 weather closings per year.
A study presented to the city in April said the facility would cost just over $253,000 to operate per year, meaning it would generate a $32,000 surplus. The revenue totals are based on a $6 admission charge and attendees spending $1.50 on concessions.
The proposed water park includes a lazy river, lap pool, splash pool, zero depth entry pool, climbing wall and a zip line.
The project would largely be funded through city sales tax money. The city is hoping to raise $1.2 million through fundraising for the water park. During the meeting, Wick says under $20,000 has been raised so far, but several businesses are interested in donating if the project moves forward.
Council member Bob Loso remains concerned about the project. He says the city needs to prioritize its projects and sales tax spending and that the city would be stretching itself too thin if it goes forward with a water park, a new community center and updates to the government center all at the same time.
"I think there's a lot more work that needs to happen within the city council. We just aquired Colts Academy for a community center and we need to finalize that, if we use sales tax money on a water amenity, it may have a negative impact on the community center."
At the start of the city council meeting, two citizens spoke out against the water park, saying it wasn't something they want the city to spend tax money on.
No action was taken on the project on Monday night. The city will review its next steps during future council meetings.