Dallas County Commission approves Paul Grist funding

Published 10:46 pm Monday, December 14, 2015

The Dallas County Commission has approved a $53,000 annual budget for Paul Grist State Park.

The county took over operation of the park Dec. 1 on a 15-year lease from Alabama State Parks. The park and three others across Alabama closed Oct. 15 as part of state budget cuts.

County Commissioner Roy Moore said a budget was needed to pay for insurance, electricity, telephones and replacing some equipment that the state moved to others parks.

“We knew when we took Camp Grist over there would have to be a budget,” Moore said.

Former park manager Roger Nichols will work on a contract with the county to maintain the park and coordinate volunteers interested in helping.

The park generated about $40,000 in revenue last year on a $170,000 budget, but most of that — more than $100,000 — went to pay the salaries of three full-time employees. Two of those have transferred to other state parks and another, park manager Roger Nichols, retired.

Commissioners said the reaction they have received about the county reopening the park has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I don’t go anywhere where people aren’t telling me they are appreciative for keeping the park open,” Moore said.

In other business, the county commission took the following actions:

*Cancelled the last meeting of the month, which had been scheduled for Monday, Dec. 28.

*Approved upcoming holidays for most county employees. County offices will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 23 through Sunday, Dec. 27 for Christmas and Wednesday, Dec. 30 through Sunday, Jan. 3 for New Year’s.