Columbia County, GA -
People enjoying activities at Wildwood Park in Columbia County will have a hard time getting away without paying to enter. The commission just voted to install security cameras at the gate entrance to monitor fees and keep the park safe.
The gate entrance is staffed only half the time the park is open to collect payment. When no one is there guests are asked to put money in the “honor box,” but not everyone does, and these new cameras will help stop that from happening.
Three dollars may not seem like a huge chunk of change, but to Wesley Smith this cash means a lot.
He works the entrance gate at Wildwood Park in Columbia County, and sees firsthand how these dollars keep the 975 acre park stay beautiful.
“In order to run the park and do it efficiently we get a budget and the budget is based on what we bring, and if we have people going through without paying, then our budget is not as big as what it could be for the improvements to the park,” said Smith.
The commission is hoping that budget gets bigger. They voted to install security cameras at the entrance gate to monitor cars going in and out of the park. This is for safety and to keep people accountable for paying entrance fees.
“Really a lot safer when you have security cameras, not only for the trucks and vehicles and boats here, but for the campers as well, so you can monitor whose coming in and out, so I think it’s a big plus,” said Tommy Willis.
“Keep the park going and make sure they keep it up like they do and keep putting the money into it because it’s probably the nicest one on the lake,” said Lee Harville.
From campsites to boat docks, millions of dollars have been poured into this park, and the county is making new additions all the time. They can’t make those additions without funding.
“We will definitely approach them. We operate it like a business and there is an entrance fee to the park, for car, for boat and trailer, entrance fee for campers, so I think this will enhance revenue a bit or monitor or losses,” said Barry Smith, Community and Leisure Services Director.
The cameras will be installed in the next few weeks.