With the lingering winter weather, swimming is probably not on a lot of people’s minds at the moment, but Carroll County officials continue to look at the possibility of a water park locally.
During the Carroll County Board of Supervisors’ March 11 meeting, Supervisor Sam Dickson said he has been in the process of reviewing proposals submitted to the county for the feasibility study of a water park in Carroll County. Supervisors passed a motion in September to put out a request for proposals for the feasibility study of a water park. Two companies responded with proposals.
“I reviewed both of the companies that submitted for the feasibility study of a water park and so as soon as everyone else has time to do that I am sure we will try to award one and go on,” Dickson said at the meeting. “We are moving on that. It is not a dead issue.”
Carroll County shut down its swimming pool in the Carroll County Recreation Park in 2009 when county officials had to cut $1.6 million to balance its budget for Fiscal Year 2009-2010. County officials noted at the time that annual repairs on the pool’s water heater and other issues had actually caused the county to lose over $50,000 in each of the pool’s last two years. The pool area was torn down in 2011.
Since that time, citizens have requested the county look at options for a new swimming pool or water park. Dickson hoped the committee put together to look at options for a water park would have studied the two proposals enough to move forward at the board of supervisors’ April 8 meeting.
“Hopefully by the next meeting they will (have looked at them). If not I will get a little ill because I don’t want it to sit on the backburner,” Dickson said. “We can’t act until everybody looks at it. I just think it needs to be studied and we need to move on with it and decide where we are going. I hope it all works out so we can put one back. I personally think we need one. The reports may say we are crazy. They may say we don’t need one, but it is something we need to look at.”
Sam McLendon, Director of Parks, Recreation & Tourism for Carroll County, said the committee has been studying the proposals to make sure they both met all the requirements of the RFP.
“The RFP basically asked for a market analysis, what size community it could serve, how far their reach would be. And then from there they can determine what size facility you need, the type of facility, and then they do a cost analysis of what it would cost to run it,” McLendon said. “Both proposals look like they met those requirements. Basically they look at the market, and the market helps determine the type of facility to be built. And when that is determined, then they determine what the cost is.”
After studying the proposals, McLendon said the committee would then decide what would be the next step to take.
“It’s a long process,” McLendon said.