Commission agrees to separate parks

The Chilton County Commission unanimously approved to make Minooka Park and Higgins Ferry Park separate entities moving forward during its meeting Nov. 26.

This means the parks will have separate bank accounts with signatories and Parks and Recreation Director Gerald Arrington will no longer have to divide his time between the operations of both parks.

“The goal of this Commission is to have those parks as cash cows instead of negative drags on our financials,” Commission Chairman Joseph Parnell said.

As a result, Arrington will now be solely tasked to the day-to-day duties at Minooka Park, while park ranger Donald Giles will oversee Higgins Ferry Park.

Giles was hired as park ranger at Higgins Ferry Park in August.

Minooka Park is in the process of undergoing upgrades in both appearance and amenity offerings.

The upgrades include paving campsites, offering sewer hookups, a bathhouse renovation and changing the look of the park’s entrance off U.S. 31.

With the changes taking place at Minooka Park, there is an expected uptick in the amount of visitors the park will garner in the future.

According to the Commission, the reasoning behind the separation of the parks is to make sure things are in place to handle such an increase.

“We’re working to get them [parks] economically stable,” Commissioner Jimmie Hardee said.

The possibility of also only accepting credit/debit cards and no longer cash at the parks was discussed.

However, that idea was tabled and will be brought up again at a future meeting.

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