OKC City Council To Give $1.5 Million To Boathouse Foundation

Tuesday, September 24th 2019, 7:20 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois

The Oklahoma City City Council voted to invest $1.5 million into the Boathouse Foundation Tuesday, September 24. 

The money will be given to the foundation and Riverfront Redevelopment Authority over the 2019-2020 fiscal year and will cover operating costs for the Whitewater Facility and adjoining Adventure Zone.

“This is helping with the operations as we continue to build the revenue which does continue to build year in and year out,” Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation Executive Director Mike Knopp said.

The Boathouse Foundation’s financial situation is improving, according to an audit the city set up last year.

Admissioin, passes and donations are up this year.

The whitewater and adventure areas are still losing money, but are losing less now than they had in the past.

Knopp argued these are the same growing pains any startup would face.

“I hope people can understand that this is a massive operation a big startup. There's been over $100 million in private investment put into the Boathouse District and a $23 million economic impact,” Knopp said.

The only council member to vote against the additional funding was David Greenwell of Ward Five.

Councilman Greenwell told News 9 he has concerns about management and planning at the Boathouse District, after several million dollars have been given to the MAPS 3 project over the years.

“Here is another drain from this facility on our general fund. So, at some point, when do we start saying ‘enough?’” Greenwell said during the council meeting.

In order to receive the full $1.5 million, The Boathouse Foundation must report to the council every 90 days on its progress.