County agrees to visitor improvement grant for splash pad in McCool

YORK – The York County Commissioners have agreed with the York County Visitors Bureau (YCVB) that the community of McCool Junction should receive a $15,000 visitor improvement grant to be used toward that community’s new splashpad project.

YCVB Director Bob Sautter met with the county board this week, along with representatives of the McCool project, Curtis Cogswell and Brian Underwood.

The McCool Community Improvement Foundation is the driving force behind this project, which would take place in the village’s park. The total cost of the project would be $192,320. The break-down of costs would be $10,000 for electrical and plumbing work. The rest would go to Crouch Recreation which would build the attraction. The foundation has already raised more than $100,000 for the project.

“We felt there was a recreational need in McCool and we have already secured more than $100,000 for this,” Cogswell said.

“We just want to make McCool viable for young families and for the county,” Underwood said. “We would like to bring families into our community.”

“I’m glad they are being proactive,” Sautter said. “And the county will benefit from this. When people come in to McCool, for, as an example, for a ball tournament or another event, they will be utilizing this and staying in the hotels in York. That helps with our lodging taxes.”

And it is the lodging tax that generates the revenues to be used for these types of special grants. The funds are not county tax dollars, they are lodging funds earmarked for these types of projects. The county commissioners have the final say after hearing recommendations from the YCVB board.

“It was a unanimous vote for the visitors bureau board, with one abstention because of a conflict of interest,” said Commissioner Randy Obermier, who sits on the YCVB committee, representing the county. “We are carrying $300,000 in that fund now. Talk centered around how McCool is trying and we did give  funds to the fairgrounds playground, the park project in Gresham and the large all-inclusive playground here in York.”

The McCool Foundation requested $15,000 in visitor improvement funds.

Commissioner Daniel Grotz said he felt it would be a great addition, while also marveling “at the high cost of everything these days.”

“Does there need to be supervision with this type of attraction?” asked Commissioner Stan Boehr.

“No, there wouldn’t need to be,” Cogswell responded. He and Underwood also explained how the user would simply have to push a button to activate the splash pad.

“We are trying to develop opportunities,” Cogswell said, “and we have a strong foundation. We are going to continue to grow. This will be good for McCool and good for the county.”

They said they hope to have the splashpad in operation next spring.

“I think it is a good project and it’s awesome your foundation already has more than half the money,” Grotz said further.

All the commissioners were in favor.


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