Follow Up: St. Joseph Moving on From Water Park, For Now
ST. JOSEPH -- WJON's continuing our follow-up series Thursday with a look at whatever happened to the planned water park in St. Joseph.
The city was planning on building the $6.1-million project to try and draw in crowds from the region and boost the local economy. City Administrator Judy Wyrens says they've moved on from the park to better focus on other community desires.
"[There] wasn't as much broad support community wise for the water park. I think there was a lot of people who thought it was targeting for a specific group, and didn't think it would be as successful."
The original game plan was for the park to be open for 105 days a year, from Memorial to Labor Day weekend. They expected a $32,000 profit a year, based off $6 admissions, and attendees spending an average of $1.50 on concessions.
Wyrens adds since the city is limited in the amount of half-cent sales tax dollars it has, they had to choose between the two projects, and St. Joseph had been asking about a community center for a while.
"So when you're looking at how to manage that [half-cent sales tax] best and what the community would use more. I think people have been asking for some kind of community center, I've been told as early as 1977."
Wyrens says the city hasn't completely given up on the idea of a water park, but they will only seriously consider a public investment if a large, private partner like a hotel/resort combination wanted to come to St. Joseph.
The new community center, named for Jacob Wetterling, will cost a total of $12-million to build. The city has already committed $6-million, and community groups will have two years to raise the rest of the money.
The facility will have three gyms, and at least two memorials to Jacob, including a lantern lit 24/7 and two columns forming a number 11. Other plans include a walking track, historical center, two multipurpose rooms and a possible climbing wall.
Friday, we'll take a look at whatever happened to the lake home in Rockville that was ordered to be torn down back in September.