Few topics have sparked as much conversation as the future of the Barbourville water park.
“Most people think we are just tearing the waterpark down, but we are replacing it….with something better,” said Barbourville City Councilman, Ronnie Moore.
Plans for the new project were discussed at Thursday night’s City Council meeting.
Very few community members were in attendance, but hundreds took to social media express opposition to the plan.
“What a disappointment!” said Lisa McKeehan Lindsay. “I have heard no positive reactions to this plan, but yet, the city moves forward.”
“I say let’s fix the water park,” said Kelvin Hibbard. “The cost can’t be much more than tearing it down and building something new.”
Like it or not, the waterpark decision is final, according Mayor David Thompson. He said that the park was never a source of income for the city, nor, was it ever intended to be. Therefore, with expenses like maintenance or other state requirements it has operated in the red every year except for 2009, when it profited $4,000.
“It doesn’t take a mathematician to divide $100,000 (cost of operations) by 80 (possible days open the park could open last year) to find that daily operations cost $1250 per day. If you included days it was closed for inclement weather, the daily dollar loss far exceeded $1250 per day,” said Thompson.
The first addition to the Barbourville City Park will be a splash pad with 75-100 chairs surrounding the area for parents and kids to enjoy alike. Mayor Thompson and committee expect the construction for the splash pad to begin in the summer.
“There is a whole lot to think about with this project and we are just getting started,” Mayor Thompson said.