- Associated Press - Monday, March 23, 2015

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - A Monroe woman is developing a proposal to create a whitewater park at Tailrace Park in Columbus.

The Columbus Telegram (https://bit.ly/19eUjXt ) reports that at a public meeting held Saturday, Brandy Zywiec discussed building a whitewater park where people can go rafting, fishing and canoeing and participate in other water activities. The park would be located where the Loup Public Power District canal system and the Platte River meet. Zywiec hopes to revitalize the area, which has been described as rundown.

“We have the opportunity to turn a big negative within our community into an even bigger positive,” Zywiec said. “Not only will this have a huge impact on our community, but it will impact future generations. This could be a real game-changer for Columbus. It would put Nebraska on the map and make it a destination spot.”

A feasibility study, which would cost $3,500 to $4,000, is needed before the proposed project could begin. According to Zywiec, if the plan were approved, it would take about five years to build and open the attraction. A dam that produces hydropower would be modified to create a safe recreational area.

Zywiec said that the power district is in favor of the proposal because it would make use of an area that has dealt with vandalism and litter problems.

About 40 people, including some who own land in the area, attended the meeting. Some had concerns about the impact of water pressure on the river banks. Others questioned if the park would encourage trespassing.

Zywiec said that the feasibility study would also include environmental impact. She also said that trespassing was a valid concern, but that most people who go to water parks are conscious of water rights and land use.

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Information from: Columbus Telegram, https://www.columbustelegram.com

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