STATEHOUSE (April 9, 2012) — State Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) today applauded fellow State Budget Committee members for their decision to consider project funding that will allow Prophetstown State Park to build the swimming pool it needs to generate more visitors and revenue growth.
Hershman said the committee will review funding for the pool during a board meeting this Friday, April 13. The Indiana Financing Authority (IFA) is refinancing bonds to support Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) projects, allowing for construction of a pool on the Tippecanoe County recreational site. Hershman has been working with the DNR and the IFA to identify funds to finance construction of a Prophetstown State Park pool for several years.
“DNR officials report the most frequent request expressed by park patrons is to have an aquatic center at the property,” Hershman said. “Right now, Prophetstown State Park guests have no swimming opportunities, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed.”
Hershman said residents of Battleground and Tippecanoe Township have specifically listed access to swimming as an important concern during public meetings. He added that the lack of a facility has become more prominent since Battleground was forced to close its aging town pool in 2010.
While estimates from the DNR Division of Engineering place the pool project costs between $3.5 and $3.75 million, Hershman said DNR officials also predict the additional draw of an aquatic center would increase funds available to cover costs of the facility.
“With a new facility, campground stays would increase, helping completely fill the park’s campgrounds on weekends and offset costs,” Hershman said. “A pool would not only help raise visitation and camping revenues, but would additionally be a big benefit to the community, providing safe, clean recreational activities for local residents.”
Hershman added that Brown County State Park opened a water attraction at Abe Martin Lodge in June of 2008 and, since then, has seen an increase in revenue because of it.
“It’s clear the new water park amenity at Brown County State Park generated more than $1 million in additional funds during its first year of operation,” Hershman said. “We think a swimming facility in Prophetstown would similarly generate extra funds. I appreciate the DNR’s efforts for the Tippecanoe County community on this project and look forward to continuing my work with them.”
Prophetstown State Park opened to the public in fall 2004, offering a 150-site campground, two trails and a 1920s living history site to local residents and out-of-town guests. For more information, visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2971.htm.