Published Sunday, May 20, 2012
By REBECCA LEFTWICH
Rochelle Jabaley says if city officials don’t drag their feet, Grantville’s citizens could be getting theirs wet in a new water park by Independence Day.
“There’s no question in my mind it’s going to happen,” said Jabaley, a member of the Grantville City Council. “There is absolutely no reason for the water park not to be ready in time for July 4th.”
Jabaley, who has consulted with the city of Newnan and several companies that install splash-and-play water parks, is set to meet with Whitesburg Mayor Amy Williford next week. Whitesburg’s water park has been popular not only with that city’s residents but with families from throughout Carroll and neighboring counties, which Jabaley said could be an advantage for Grantville as well.
“People would come from all over to see Grantville,” she said during discussion of her proposal at the May 14 Grantville City Council meeting.
But Jabaley’s main concern is rectifying what she sees as a recreation problem for the city’s residents.
“In my opinion, the present recreation facilities are not sufficient,” she told the council. “Even the summer camp serves only a fraction, under 100 children every year. There are at least 1,000 living within seven miles that should be enrolled in some kind of recreation within our city limits.”
At the meeting, Jabaley proposed eliminating Grantville’s summer program for one year and putting all the city’s recreation resources into building the water park. After initially agreeing to suspend this year’s program, the council reversed itself, deciding to leave the 2012 summer program in place but still move forward with Jabaley’s project proposal.
Estimated to cost $750,000, the water park would be covered by recreation funds from the current SPLOST. To avoid underground infrastructure and ensure the park is built on city property, Jabaley is recommending Grantville consider the Post Street Park site, which once housed one of the city’s now-closed public pools.
“If it belongs to the city, we are going to try to put the water park in that general area,” Jabaley said.
To further bolster recreational opportunities for its citizens, Grantville should have a professional recreation department director, according to Jabaley, who also suggested the council consider using future SPLOST recreation funds to build a public pool with a bathhouse and concession area.
“All age groups could utilize it, and in Georgia, it could be used many months out of the year,” she said. “It would create jobs and be a way for Grantville to do something concrete for its citizens for a change.”