Wichita Falls finance is asking for just under $500,000 for a new water slide at Castaway Cove that was budgeted for and approved last year. In 2013 the city budgeted $1 million for the slide. Now the city agenda reads it will cost $1.2 million because of increased construction and engineering cost.
According to the agenda the excess money will be pulled from a Castaway Cove reserve fund. Park Manager Steve Vaughn said he was unable to give me an exact number on how much money was in the fund. We were unable to reach city officials about the fund and the project.
"The money is in a reserve fund with the city the city maintains the reserve fund for us and that's where we are getting the slide and anything for the park," said Vaughn.
Vaughn said that this new run out slide would keep revenue coming in and build up the park's income. However, he was unable to tell me if projects like this and any others in the future had the potential to go beyond what the reserve fund had built up. If the fund were to be depleted and the city wanted to do more work at the park it would have to dip into the general fund.
"It would not bother me because we utilize the park," said Gretchen Nielsen, Wichita Falls Teacher.
Nielsen told me that she believes the park generates lots of money for the city by getting people to spend money they otherwise would not spend in Wichita Falls. As a teacher, she also believes that the park helps give youth in the area solid summer jobs.
"This is their first job I mean, if this place was not open this summer how many of these kids would not have gotten a job this summer and gotten to experience that," said Nielsen.
The city hopes that Castaway Cove sales and revenue can stay up that way the park can stay afloat. The city will vote on whether or not to approve the slide resolution during the Wichita Falls City Council Meeting Tuesday.