Plans to renovate Walkiah Bluff Water Park underway
Published 8:03 am Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Officials from Pearl River County plan to breathe life into Walkiah Bluff Water Park. The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors recently finalized plans and approved nearly $200,000 worth of grants to renovate the park.
The park is home to a ball field, playground, camping site, covered picnic areas, showers, fishing and boating. Over the years, the park has fallen victim to vandalism, said PRC District IV Supervisor J. Patrick Lee.
“The water park is used by a lot of people especially during the hunting season when they camp out there. We also have a lot of local folks who like to enjoy it but lately everything’s been so run down and vandalized. There’s even graffiti in the restrooms,” Lee said.
County Engineer Les Dungan recently surveyed the park at the board’s request. He said people have expressed many concerns about the boat ramp.
“The biggest problem with the boat ramp is the damage it causes to the boat trailers. We need to extend the paved ramp far enough where it won’t damage them,” Dungan said.
In May, the board accepted two $40,000 donations from International Paper in Bogalusa and the Pearl River Basin Commission for the project, according to previous Item coverage.
Earlier this month, they accepted a grant from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for $84,375. The renovation project will also be aided by the county’s in-kind contributions, including equipment and labor, Dungan said.
Lee hopes the money will restore the park for years to come.
In the past, the county has attempted to fix several park features, including the restrooms, which have been a target for vandalism, Lee said.
“The idea now is to go in and remodel everything and make it where it’s not easy to vandalize,” Lee said.
There are also plans to replace the water well, Lee said.
Danny Manley, PRC emergency management director and fire coordinator, is also involved in the project and said they’re currently going through the bidding process.
“We should have a contractor on-site in six weeks,” Manley said.
The renovations should be complete by the end of the year, Dungan said.