Schlitterbahn to take down Verruckt water slide; Wyandotte County taxpayers look at paying over $1 million cost of court case

The Verruckt water slide in Kansas City, Kansas, will be allowed to be taken down, according a court order today. (Wyandotte Daily file photo)

by Mary Rupert

Schlitterbahn was given permission by the Wyandotte County District Court today to take down the Verruckt water slide in Kansas City, Kansas.

“The court has granted approval to take down the ride,” a Schlitterbahn spokeswoman stated tonight. “Deconstruction of the ride will proceed in the coming months.”

In August 2016, a boy died on the slide, and criminal cases have been filed against individuals and the corporation in the case. The ride has not operated since the child’s death. At the time of the death, the Verruckt was known as the world’s tallest water slide.

The Unified Government’s administrator, Doug Bach, said he had confirmed with the courts that the water slide order was made today.

Schlitterbahn had earlier stated that it wanted to take down the slide, but it was waiting because the case was in court.

Bach said tonight following the UG’s budget presentation that Wyandotte County is estimating paying a cost of about $500,000 for each of three cases involving the Schlitterbahn.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office is handling the prosecution of the Schlitterbahn cases.

“They send that bill to us,” Bach said.

His budget is recommending $500,000 this year and $500,000 next year toward the costs of the prosecution, he said. The funds would be in the budget in case they were needed, but whether they are needed and exactly how much is needed won’t be known until the end of the case.

The UG has built up its reserves in recent years to the point where they are now at 17 percent, or to the two months’ level, an amount which was recommended by the Government Finance Officers Association. The funds used to prosecute this case would be coming out of the reserves, Bach said.

Bach said it would be a “big one-time hit on the county side. That’s why we have reserves.”

The county mill levy will remain the same under Bach’s proposed budget, while the city mill levy will be reduced two mills, if Bach’s budget is adopted by the UG Commission.

The Schlitterbahn budgeted item is on page xxiv of the UG’s budget book at https://www.wycokck.org/WycoKCK/media/Finance/Documents/Budget/2018-Amended-2019-Proposed-Budget.pdf.

Schlitterbahn posted this message about the Verruckt water slide today on its social media page.
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