Hurricane park acquires more land
Valley Park in Hurricane will soon have new attractions on recently acquired land.
"We purchased over five and a half acres, a neighbor's farm," said Scott Williamson, director of the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Commission. "We are developing it into an additional section of the park with more features."
With the recent acquisition, the park is now more than 65 acres, he said.
Valley Park now includes picnic shelters, 18-hole miniature golf course, dog park, playgrounds, amphitheater, a series of walking trails, and Valley Park Community Center, previously known as Hurricane Valley Community Center.
The park was in the news over the summer due to issues with malfunctioning equipment at Waves of Fun. While the pool is structurally sound, it needs some routine maintenance and old motors need to be replaced with newer equipment, Williamson said.
He has been in touch with the company that installed the initial equipment 30 years ago and hopes to have the updated parts in place in time for pool season.
Improvements are in progress on the new tract of land with plans for completion by mid-January, depending upon the weather, he said.
"We'll have plenty of walking trails," Williamson said. "We will have one regulation size soccer field that can also be used as two youth fields. It can be used for T-ball. It will be multi-purpose."
There will be an overall farm theme because the new tract of land was previously a working farm, he said.
The new land will have a pond, wildflowers, and a nonbearing crab apple orchard that will offer blooms without the mess of dropping fruit, he said. A sandbox will be built like a pigsty with stone pigs, including a mother and piglets, so that children may play in the area and climb on the statues. A picnic shelter will be built to look like a one-room schoolhouse.
The land was purchased in early spring at a cost of about $700,000 and improvements will cost an additional $1.2 million, he said. The cost is being covered by tax increment financing. The area is a TIF district, a designated area for which the property tax revenue that results from increases in assessments is used for infrastructure or special projects.
He believes the overall project will attract more people to the park and have an overall positive impact on the economy of the area.
"Pray Construction is the primary contractor and engineer is Terradon, both Putnam County businesses," he said.