JULIAN — Boone County Parks and Recreation will keep the $24,000 that the Boone County Commission provided Water Ways as start-up money, despite the water park deciding to not open for business in 2020.
Additionally, according to Boone County Commission President Eddie Hendricks, Boone County will support parks and recreation with “around $20,000 per month” moving forward.
“The start-up money has pretty much been used to start up,” Hendricks said during open session on May 29. “It will continue to be part of the money and we’re going to have to pick up around $20,000 per month for salaries for three people in order to…you just can’t let it sit there for a year. So it will probably be part of that money that we give them monthly to keep them going.”
Commissioner Craig Bratcher added, “They had some money but it is basically gone. They are still going to have electric bills, grass and basic upkeep.”
Water Ways made the announcement on May 19 in a Facebook post that they would not open for business in 2020. The Boone County Commission made the financial contribution to the department in early April.
Hendricks said the water park will miss out on its biggest months of the year.
“The problem is that your biggest money months start with Memorial Day and June and July is where you make your money with the pools,” he added. “People aren’t applying for the jobs, either, so there is no chance we were going to be up and running by the end of June. Then there is a chance that parents won’t send their kids there and we have a lot of people who come down from Kanawha County, and they’ve been one of the most affected counties in the state,” regarding coronavirus.
In late 2019, the Boone County Commission announced that it was interested in relieving ifself of the responsibility of many parks around the county, including Lick Creek Park. After negotiations with Boone County Schools and an independent softball league saw movement toward leasing agreements, that park remained with the county. In March of 2019, the Coal Valley News reported the totals for overtime paid to administrative Boone County Parks and Recreation employees.
From July 2015 through June 2018, the total rang in at over $87,166.
According to county records, parks and recreation lost approximately $85,000 in 2018 with Water Ways and John Slack Park (Racine Park) standing as the largest operational expenditures.