The City of Boaz spent $3.2 million on a park that was only “supposed” to cost $2.5 million. Regardless of the overage, Old Mill Park was a great investment.
While many might believe it’s too early to make that decision, several employees regularly drive past the park and have witnessed numerous people walking the trail, kids playing on swing sets and small children splashing around like silly pirates.
In a recent interview with The Reporter, Boaz City Councilman Jeff Davis made an excellent point about the park’s potential for economic impact.
“You know, this park wasn’t built to bring in revenue,” Davis said. “But with events like this, business picks up for the day. It brings in people from all over and that brings in money – whether that is from staying the night in a hotel or just buying dinner somewhere, shopping around.”
While it wasn’t built for revenue, the park does have opportunity to make a little money. Pavilions are available to rent for parties and other events.
The city, Boaz Area Chamber of Commerce and Josh Bright Productions are also working together to host more concerts and other events in the future.
Davis said the park’s location has also sparked interest of prospective businesses — specifically about locating to Boaz’s downtown area. That was something Boaz Mayor David Dyar and the Boaz City Council anticipated before construction began at Old Mill Park. He has always believed the park could “spark positivity for not only downtown, but the entire community.
“I think in time, as the park matures and those trees get bigger and there’s more of a character about it, people are going to start seeing a return on investment,” Dyar said at the park’s ground breaking ceremony in September of 2018. “There’s going to be people of all ages that will utilize the park … Years ago they built the library and got some blowback, but it’s been one of the best investments for our community … Hopefully – and I believe it will – the park will provide the same opportunities for people here and outside our community, to come here, shop locally and enjoy a good day at the park.”
The trees, planted only days ago, have a ways to go before maturing, but it appears there is already proof to show Old Mill Park was a great investment.
Our View On the Issue is an opinion of The Reporter’s editorial board that includes Publisher Kim Patterson and Managing Editor Taylor Beck.