Staying Afloat

Staying Afloat

Keeping Castaway Cove Water Park open has proved to be nothing but full profit for Wichita Falls who did not have to spend a penny of city money to keep the park filled with water. The park has been profitable ever year, pulling in between $50,000 to as much as $100,000. The park shored up its profits in a special revenue fund.

The park was able to use $70,000 from that fund to haul in water, keeping the park from closing and keep Castaway Cove pulling in profits. Without the excess funds the city would have had to spend its own money to keep the city park investment from going to waste. Assistant City Manager Kevin Hugman said that Wichita Falls would have had to spend in excess of $200,000 on maintenance and upkeep.

"The money expenditures for the water, for bringing the water in, are coming from the water parks revenue. So that is ticket sales and concession sales from the water park. It's not coming from the general fund, it's not coming from taxpayer dollars or anything, it's from the users who are coming to the water park," said Hugman.

Many residents were curious about why the city was unable to redirect the funds to prevent a water rate hike.

"It would not solve our water issues, even if were to allocate it to that, I mean we're talking profits of fifty thousand to one hundred thousand maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars," said Hugman.

Hugman said another question he gets is why the city does not use the water and put it into the sewer system.

"The total amount of water that we're going to bring in this season for the water park would amount to, and I'm talking the total amount of water for the year, would amount to less than two hours of water for the city," said Hugman.

Keeping the water park open said Hugman has kept the city from diving into debt.

Jack Carney, Newschannel6