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Will new law affect slides at Adventure Bay Water Park? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 July 2017 11:34


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ELLY GRIMM

• Leader & Times



Liberal’s Adventure Bay Water Park sees many patrons each summer, with many people having particular fun going down the water slides at the park. 

Due to a recent piece of legislation that came into effect July 1, many communities are temporarily shutting down the slides at their own water parks.

“The law was passed this year after a state lawmaker’s son, Caleb Schwab, died last summer on the Verruckt water slide at Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City,” a report from the Associated Press noted. “It imposes new inspection and permit requirements on amusement rides, although a portion of the law that imposes criminal penalties for operating a ride without a license was delayed until Jan. 1 to give ride operators time to comply with the new regulations. The law defines a water slide as an amusement ride if it is ‘a slide that is at least 15 feet in height and that uses water to propel the patron through the ride,’ according to a Kansas City Star report.”

Even with the law in effect, however, Recreation Director Matt Quint offered reassurance the Adventure Bay slides are safe to ride down, as the slides comprised a large chunk of the maintenance work done to prepare for Adventure Bay’s opening earlier this year. 

“Really, it’s just to make sure slides are checked and to make sure they’re safe, and it’s for slides 15 feet tall and taller, so with the towns you’re hearing about shutting their slides down, they’re just taking precautions since right now you have to have your slide inspected from a water slide expert,” Quint said. “And that gentleman is coming to Liberal, but he’s really busy right now because since July 1, he’s been getting calls like crazy. He’s in Kansas City, so later this week, after he visits Dodge City, he should be getting here. I’ve already applied for the permits. Our water park is considered an amusement park sort of with the way the bill is. I want to assure everyone the slides are perfectly safe, they were a big part of the maintenance work our crews did to get the pool ready.”

Right now, the Adventure Bay slides remain open, and Quint said the city is working with state officials to get everything in order. 

“The communities shutting them down, their legal counsel is still working through their paperwork and everything,” Quint said. “We’re working with the state on this, we’re complying with everything they’re asking. We filed for the permits, we have got our insurance all lined up, and at this point we’re just waiting for the report from him, and in talking to him in more detail this past Friday, he said ‘I’m going to come and do a maintenance check, make sure the railings are all good, make sure the slides meet the standards.’ We’re going to walk through, make sure all the signs are working and everything’s up to par. Then after that, he’ll get us our report, and that should take about an hour or two. And since we are just two towers, the north and south towers, he was indicating that would be no problem and it should be easy. He hasn’t run into any problems around the state. Typically, if it’s a public or government pool, these guys usually follow all the laws because of public safety. I assure the public again our slides at Adventure Bay are safe, they’re fun, and people will enjoy them.”

For the communities shutting down their slides, Quint said they are taking a “better safe than sorry” approach for now, and reiterated his assurance of the slides’ safety. 

“We are working as fast and as diligently as we can with the state to keep the slides open to the public,” Quint said. “Right now, they’re even still working on reforming this bill, because it caught a lot of people off guard. Our Southwest Parks and Recreation Board meetings we have, this was brought up about three or four months ago that this was in the works, but we didn’t have a lot of information about it yet. Then, all of a sudden, July 1 comes and it comes into effect and you have to have everything done by July 6. Then they pushed that back and a lot of communities got thrown off guard. And everything’s got to be inspected now, like inflatables and that stuff. People are contacting their representatives asking what’s going on to get a better understanding of the situation. We’re working to make sure we get everything done, because we have until Jan. 2018 to have everything completed. I know our slides are safe, they’re fun, and people should enjoy them.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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