GREENHILL – The place wasn’t packed, but the screams and laughter of youth having fun could be heard Tuesday at Magic Valley Fun Park as a busload of people from Mulgrave enjoyed the water and rides of the amusement park.
The water, though, in some of the areas they splashed in was a bit murky.
“Yesterday it was crystal clear,” said an employee to a woman who was visiting.
It’s a frustration owner Bill MacNeil has had for a long time and one he’s hoping can be cleared up. He’s requested that the Municipality of Pictou County extend their water line to his business, so he can use the treated water instead of relying on the well water which he said is high in iron and manganese. The water he uses now grows algae quickly as does water from other wells in the area.
He said it would be only a short distance for the municipality to extend the line and it could mean the long-term survival of his business, which was started back in 1971.
“We need good water,” he said “…It’s almost a necessity.”
Treating the water they have is expensive and it’s money he believes could be better spent upgrading the park to attract new visitors.
“We started an expansion and we’ve bought a number of items we can use,” he said. “I’m looking at it, is it worth it or should I just close it up and sell the place off piece by piece?
He said the weather hasn’t been ideal this year and their numbers haven’t been great. He said tourism isn’t what it used to be in the earlier years of his business.
“There’s a lack of bus tours like there used to be. That was a big thing.”
Coun. David Parker said during Monday’s committee of the whole meeting that the county is willing to talk about the situation if Magic Valley will contribute to the cost of the project.
He said another business in the same area made a similar request and offered to do some of the work to a line extension.
“If he is willing to put some money up front, we would be willing to talk,” Parker said.
County CAO Brian Cullen said for a water line to successfully service the theme park, a booster station would be needed for adequate water pressure.
Council agreed to wait to hear from the park’s owner before discussing the issue any further.
MacNeil said he doesn’t believe he should have to pay for the line to be extended. His son, however, said he was willing to do the excavation work for running the line to the business.
– What is now Magic Valley Fun Park originally opened in 1971 with the creation of theme park Story Book Village. It included the magic castle and story book exhibits
– In 1984, three water slides were installed, a new entrance building added as well as a larger gift shop.
– It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.