Pocahontas water park construction should soon start

Pocahontas water park construction should soon start

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - The city of Pocahontas promised to transform the city pool into a multi-million dollar water park by this summer.

But the only splash residents could make is in puddles of mud.

Voters passed two half-cent sales taxes to fund the project last summer, and now they have many questions about where their tax dollars went.

Mayor Frank Bigger said construction bids came in higher than he anticipated and the summer's heavy rain also delayed the project.

However, some residents are skeptical if they will ever see a water park.

"They wanted to tear it all down and put a giant water park in and for what reason?," Pocahontas resident Kenny Almasy said. "They're wasting a lot of time and to me it's a waste of money. They took out the pool already and now kids didn't have much to swim in this year but the rivers and lakes. And a lot of people don't do that. They'd rather see the bottom of the water."

Almasy said the city owes it to him to explain what's going on, and other Pocahontas residents shared similar sentiments.

"I think they need to get their butt in gear and quit being so lazy about it," Pocahontas resident Matt Johnson said.

"I think it's a farce," Pocahontas resident Harold Coark said. "It's a big joke. I think it's a misuse of funds that could be used better and in a lot of different ways. It's not going to happen."

But Mayor Frank Bigger said the water park is still a done deal. He is currently negotiating with contractors to get the construction bids down to around $6 million.

Mayor Bigger said a project this expensive has to be done right, but residents say it is taking too long.

"It's pretty typical for Pocahontas politics," Coark said. "They seem to want to run everything and they just don't seem to do it right."

Mayor Bigger said the water park will be worth the wait. He hopes to select a contractor within the next ten days.

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