Little Black Creek Water Park to close - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Little Black Creek Water Park to close

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Little Black Creek Water Park will close on July 1, 2012 and reopen Sept. 1, 2012 on a limited basis. Little Black Creek Water Park will close on July 1, 2012 and reopen Sept. 1, 2012 on a limited basis.
LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

The Pat Harrison Waterway District announced on Wednesday the closing of Lamar County Park, also known as Little Black Creek, on July 1, 2012.

The park will remain closed until Sept. 1, 2012, when the finances of the district will be reevaluated, confirmed Jolly Matthews, attorney for the district. He added that the park would reopen on a limited basis on that date.

The park, according to officials, attracts from 150,000 to 175,000 visitors annually, but in the last fiscal year it cost the district over $750,000 to maintain.

In a prepared statement, the district wrote, "A majority of the Lamar County Board of Supervisors chose to withhold your financial support that has been and remains mandated by state statute (code section 51-15-129) created by the Mississippi Legislature in 1962, to support the Pat Harrison Waterway District, it's mission and your facilities. Their decision severely hampers the park operation to the point of closing."

Perry Phillips, attorney for the Lamar County Board of Supervisors, also issued a prepared statement.  He said, "Lamar County exercised its statutory right to withdraw as member county of the Pat Harrison Waterway District in September 2011. The decision  to close Little Black Creek Water Park was made by the Pat Harrison Waterway District, which owns Little Black Creek Water Park. Because of the pending lawsuit filed by the Pat Harrison Waterway District against Lamar County, Lamar County will make no further comment at this time. "

The district has operated and maintained the public park for over 40 years. It was requested by the Lamar County Board of Supervisors in 1968 and financed at that time with federal funding.

"This place has been part of our lives," said park patron Vincent Bryant. "We camp out here every year, we go swimming here every chance we get. I hope that somebody with the funds or the State realizes they made a mistake," Bryant said.

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