Raging Waters has been a topic of intense interest for many of you. We asked Councilman Andrew Johnston to provide an update on the status of the park.
Here is what he provided:
"The park was originally built between 1977-1980 using federal funds with the agreement that it would only be used for outdoor recreation going forward. The 20+ acres is zoned as open space restricting any other non-recreational development on the site. In 2019, a new operator was under contract to reopen the park but after further review of the facilities it was determined that the buildings, and other facilities, were in much worse condition than previously known and it would need at least $20 million to repair and make it operable. That agreement was voided as no funding was identified. As of May 2020, the former waterpark is still empty and there has been no operator identified to reopen the park.
Over the past several months, we have had several fires in the park, and most recently, a high volume of people have broken into the premises.
Salt Lake City Parks, Real Estate and the Mayor’s office have stated that they intend to request funding from the city council, within the next several weeks, to provide 24hr security at the park and we will need to fund further weed control.
Moving forward, I would strongly advocate for a regional park with amenities that we do not have in other parks in the city. And keep it free, or deeply affordable for all local residents. I would love to keep a waterpark. However, a waterpark is very expensive, and I fear pricing local residents out of it if we were to go to a private operator who would need to recoup an investment. We could approach Salt Lake County, who already runs many regional parks across the county. The next round of county ZAP tax funding would not be voted on until 2024 and available in 2026 (I believe) if that funding were to be used for such a park.
The Mayor’s office reports that they would like to get neighborhood feedback regarding what to do with the park going forward and I encouraged them to do so as soon as possible."
You may submit updates for publication to our Chair Turner Bitton at firstname.lastname@example.org.