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Man asks for help developing water park

Posted: July 8, 2012 - 12:02am  |  Updated: July 9, 2012 - 9:16am
Wayne Canty, of Augusta, shows preliminary plans for a Splash of Augusta water park he plans to build off Interstate 20 near Harlem. He hopes to have the park completed and open next summer.   Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Wayne Canty, of Augusta, shows preliminary plans for a Splash of Augusta water park he plans to build off Interstate 20 near Harlem. He hopes to have the park completed and open next summer.

Twitter @ValerieRowell

 

To beat the heat, Columbia County offers the lake, private and neighborhood pools and a few splash pads at county parks.

Wayne Canty hopes to add a water park.

“We don’t have (anything like that) here,” the Augusta resident said.

Columbia County hasn’t housed a water park since 2003, when Krystal River Water Park closed after 15 years on Industrial Park Drive in Evans. The owner cited drastically increasing insurance costs as the reason for closing.

Canty said he’s purchasing 35 acres alongside Interstate 20 at Appling-Harlem Highway. The sale is contingent on having the property rezoned, which is expected to go before the county’s planning commission on July 19.

He’s also hoping the community will help pay for the water park, which he said will include water slides, a wave pool, lazy river, large play structure, kiddie pool area, bumper boats, flow rider, beach volleyball courts, arcade, restaurant, amphitheater and entertainment facilities.

Canty is holding a public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the pavilion at Red Oak Manor in Harlem to explain the project and solicit contributions.

“We’re asking for a monetary donation, $5 or $6,” Canty said. “We’re not asking for any type of investment.”

Canty said he got the idea after a visit to Splash in the Boro, a water park in Statesboro, Ga. He saw lots of Augusta-area tags and thought a water park would do well in the area.

He’s considered several sites and talked to a couple of former Augusta commissioners, who encouraged Canty to downgrade the project to a few splash pads in south Augusta.

Canty said he found the property on Appling-Harlem Highway and began talking with owner Larry Prather.

In talks with numerous banks, Canty said none will help finance the water park because “it’s a liability” and there aren’t any grants offered for water parks. But he’s exploring investment and other funding options as he continues to have final design plans drawn up.

“I’m looking for the community to help me out,” he said, adding that all contributions would go toward the park’s development, including design, site preparation and construction.

“This project will be up May 2013.”

For more information and to follow Splash of Augusta on Facebook or visit www.splashofaugusta.com.

WATER PARK PUBLIC MEETING

What: Public meeting about Splash of Augusta

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Red Oak Manor, North Louisville Street in Harlem

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Comments (5)

soapy_725

No grants or entitlements available?

How interesting? Is the Statesboro park a private enterprise? How will he be able to pay for insurance if he cannot even fund the construction? A great idea that obviously can't be sold without "taxpayers dollars". And even with taxpayer money, their is the enormous potential for public liability. CC does not need another source of "taxpayer funded lawsuits". Once, a legitimate product would be funded by investors. Maybe Mr. Canty should look for investors.

wilgockit

I have an idea

You could start the 2013 season passes which would allow admission to the park when it opens. That way you would be able to start making money to help plan the park. =)

Tracey Wilgocki

Sweet son

NO!!

The man is asking 5 to 6 dollars that I suppose is admission to his "public hearing" and wants the CC taxpayers to pay for his water park. Not a chance!

poolmom

Something smells fishy here.

Something smells fishy here. Why is he asking for donations? How do we know if the money we donate is actually going towards the park? He doesn't even have the land yet! I Hope people will not be that stupid to fall for this scheme! But I am sure so many people will fall for it and get ripped off as usual!

poolmom

Something smells fishy here.

Something smells fishy here. Why is he asking for donations? How do we know if the money we donate is actually going towards the park? He doesn't even have the land yet! I Hope people will not be that stupid to fall for this scheme! But I am sure so many people will fall for it and get ripped off as usual!

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