The state treasury will be paying off the debts for the state-owned Honey Creek Resort State Park in southern Iowa, under legislation Governor Branstad signed Thursday. At a recent budget hearing, DNR director Chuck Gipp said Honey Creek performed well during the recent recession.
“While sales tax collections were falling in a majority counties across Iowa, two counties experienced increases in sales taxes — Wayne and Appanoose County. And the only new thing that occurred in those counties was the proximity to Honey Creek State Resort,” Gipp said.
At the hearing, Gipp told Governor Terry Branstad that more and more people are visiting Honey Creek. “It is making money. But, it’s not making enough money to pay off the bonds and the interest,” Gipp said.
Branstad added, “It’s paying for its ongoing expenses. It’s not paying for the capital costs of building it.” The bill signed by the governor will appropriate up to $33 million dollars from the state’s budget surplus to pay off the bonds. The DNR had been tapping a state environmental fund to make the loan payments.
Honey Creek offers guest rooms, cottages, golf, and water sports on Lake Rathbun.