"It was all paid for. It was a turnkey operation that didn't cost the taxpayers anything extra," Williamson said.
The new addition is part of Valley Park's nearly 70 acres of recreation area that features a wave pool, baseball fields, tennis courts, walking trails, a seasonal ice-skating rink, a miniature golf course, a dog park, stocked fishing ponds, playground equipment and an outdoor amphitheater.
"We like to view ourselves as a regional destination," said parks and recreation board President Patrick Donovan. "I think we are. If you do an inventory of license plates in our parking lot, you'll find we draw from the tri-state region. We want to try to continue to provide recreation for not just our county, but for the surrounding counties."
The addition, which is beside Teays Valley Road, has made the park easier to locate, and its second entrance has helped Valley Park operate more smoothly, according to Donovan.
"When you look at some of the events we host -- from Civil War Days to Fourth of July celebrations to high school cross country meets -- we're busy, and we really needed a second entrance in and out of the park," he said. "The new entrance will be critical to moving traffic through the park, as well as moving traffic up and down Teays Valley Road."
The addition to the park is currently open, and the Putnam County Commission plans to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Valley Park to celebrate the park's expansion.
"A lot of people tend to think of Putnam County as the suburban area between Charleston and Huntington," Donovan said. "The county is truly based in farming. We wanted to preserve that historical connotation that Putnam County has, and that's part of the charm of living in our county."
Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5100.