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MailTribune.com
  • Medford will spend $300,000 to develop water park plans

  • Medford City Council members gave a thumbs up today to move forward with a proposal to build a $13.5 million water park that would be larger than parks in the California cities of Redding and Fremont.
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  • Medford City Council members gave a thumbs up today to move forward with a proposal to build a $13.5 million water park that would be larger than parks in the California cities of Redding and Fremont.
    The aquatic center could be built in Bear Creek Park, where the dog park and BMX track are located. The city would relocate both those facilities as part of the project, and the pool at Hawthorne Park would be closed, while the pool at Jackson Elementary would remain open.
    The council agreed to spend $300,000 to develop the plans for the park, drawing the money out of a contingency fund.
    Depending on fees to enter the park — which would have water slides, a lazy river, family beach areas, splash pads and a wave machine — it could either pay for itself through revenues or generate a substantial profit for the city.
    In Redding, it costs $19 to use the park. If Medford charged that much, it would bring a profit of $1.6 million annually to Medford, said Brian Sjothun, Medford Parks and Recreation director, in his presentation to the council.
    Some parks charge fees as cheap as $5, which would require a $68,300 annual subsidy by the city to maintain the facility. Both estimates came from a study on how much business such a park would bring to the area.
    Sjothun said his department would develop up to five funding strategies that would be presented to the council later.
    — Damian Mann
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