Medicine Park swimming area closed for flood repairs - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Medicine Park swimming area closed for flood repairs

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

MEDICINE PARK, OK (KSWO) - The Bath Lake swimming area in Medicine Park is closed as crews work to repair flood damage.

Heavy rainfall has flooded the area for the past two years. Despite funding from FEMA to fix the damage, the combination of bad weather and a high turnover rate of Medicine Park officials have left those repairs unaddressed until now.

The first part of the project after draining the water was to pull out rocks, trees and even glass bottles left behind in the swimming area after the flooding.

"They pulled out all of that, there were at least four truckloads,” said Medicine Park Planning and Preservation Chairperson Barbara Boguski. “You know the big trash trucks, they were loaded, like four times full of all the stuff they pulled out of just this small area here."

Boguski said the project will also replace the rock and cobblestone around the creek that was worn down by the flooding, making the walking paths in the area unstable.

"In time, that would have collapsed,” Boguski said. “That would have prevented people from enjoying walking and being over there. It would have caused us safety issues."

When the flooding happened back in 2015, the town applied for and received a grant from FEMA to make the repairs. The repairs will cost around $37,000, though the town of Medicine Park will only have to pay a fraction of that.

"75 percent is paid by FEMA, that money is already in the accounts here through our town hall accountant,” Boguski said.

The other 25 percent will be split evenly between Medicine Park and the State of Oklahoma.

Boguski said the repairs almost didn't happen. In 2016, there was major turnover on the Medicine Park Board of Trustees, with three of the five board members resigning within a week of each other. Then, in December of 2016, Boguski was put in charge of the repairs that had slipped by and realized they only had one month to complete the project before their FEMA grant expired.

"We did an extension because we were going to be out of time, we only had one month left and we couldn't do it at that time of year. So, fortunately, our extension lasts through May,” Boguski said.

The work is expected to be completed by April 1st. The swimming area will open on Memorial Weekend.

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