Chehaw looking to get support in SPLOST funds - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Chehaw looking to get support in SPLOST funds

Chehaw hopes to get more SPLOST funds to fix infrastructure issues. (Source: WALB) Chehaw hopes to get more SPLOST funds to fix infrastructure issues. (Source: WALB)
They said that only a fraction of their needs have been granted so far. (Source: WALB) They said that only a fraction of their needs have been granted so far. (Source: WALB)
With dwindling financial support from the city, the director said the one-of-a-kind park and zoo is developing more ways to be self-sufficient. (Source: WALB) With dwindling financial support from the city, the director said the one-of-a-kind park and zoo is developing more ways to be self-sufficient. (Source: WALB)
There is a planned location for a new wolf habitat. (Source: WALB) There is a planned location for a new wolf habitat. (Source: WALB)
Chehaw Executive Director Don Meeks (Source: WALB) Chehaw Executive Director Don Meeks (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The competition for SPLOST dollars is intense and Chehaw Park is asking for more.

Park officials sent a detailed list of infrastructure repairs that would cost $5.5 million.

They said that only a fraction of their needs have been granted so far.

With dwindling financial support from the city, the director said the one-of-a-kind park and zoo is developing more ways to be self-sufficient, but needs a large financial boost to do it.

There is a planned location for a new wolf habitat.

"This project is probably in excess of $200,000," said Chehaw Executive Director Don Meeks.

But a new habitat for the nearly extinct species is just a dream.

"It's so far down on our list of things we need desperately that a new exhibit would be wonderful but we have significant issues we need to take care of first," explained Meeks.

Issues like old railings and the slooped wooden walkway.

"The pavement in the parking lot is in dire need to replacement," said Meeks. At nearly every turn inside the zoo, needed repairs are evident. "Everything here at the park is almost past its expected lifespan."

Chehaw's last SPLOST share went to building sewer for the RV park, a great way to bring folks and income to the park, like the BMX race track and the new volunteer-built remote control car track.

"We've had good success with that, but it's been incremental success," explained Meeks. "If the city is serious about us becoming independent, then they have to assist us with that plan."

And Meeks hopes help comes in the form of a significant SPLOST share to pay for infrastructure repairs.

"If the community believes we need to continue and prosper, we need the community to get behind us," said Meeks.

The RV Park is making money for Chehaw, but Meeks said that all of the income will be eaten up by maintenance repairs if major replacements to old infrastructure aren't done to the park now.

Copyright 2016 of WALB. All rights reserved. 

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