News 12 at 6 o'clock, July 9, 2012
HARLEM, Ga.---It's been about nine years since Columbia County had a successful water park, with Krystal River Water Park.
Now, there's a renewed push to bring a wet and wild attraction back to the area. The only catch, organizers need your help if it's going to make splash.
The possibility of a water park like the one in Statesboro, coming to Harlem, is starting to turn heads.
It got the attention of Teresa Demore, from Harlem. "It's difficult to find something to do around here. I thought it would be really good for the community, I mean they need something," says Teresa.
But then Teresa heard, park organizers need donations to get it started. Her first thought was, it must be a scam.
"With the economy the way it is, I don't see how people would put their money into something that they're not sure is even going to get off the ground or how it's going to go later on down the road," adds Teresa.
"This is going to be one of the largest giant play structures in the southeast," says Wayne Canty.
Canty has been dreaming of "Splash of Augusta" for the last four years. He says, it's no scam.
"We need a water park in this area. It's going to take work and I understand it's going to take work, but I believe that if the community gets involved in it, it won't fail," believes Wayne.
Now he's asking for your help, so his dream can become something like his plans.
"We've got enough people here in the area that you give enough $2 dollars, we could raise that money to put a water park," adds Wayne.
"I'm assuming, that's a lot of money. I just don't see where the money will come from. I'm hoping that it will happen but I'm very skeptical that it will," says Teresa.
Wayne says there are already plans to buy these 30 acres, right off I-20 in Harlem. He says banks have turned him away, calling it a liability. Wayne does plan to get investors involved, but first, he wants your support.
"You're going to have to be passionate about me putting up a water park and you're going to have to believe in what I'm saying," Wayne urges.
But Teresa isn't ready to jump in.
"I'm a little hesitant, until I find out some more information," adds Teresa.
Wayne expects people to have questions, he and his team will be having an informational meeting this Wednesday, July 11 at the Red Oak Manor in Harlem from 6:00pm to 8:00.
The purchase of that land is also contingent on the county rezoning it at their planning commission meeting later this month.