Rockford Beach Park to reopen on Saturday morning

High Ridge Fire and Rescue personnel train at Rockford Beach Park.

Rockford Beach Park is set to reopen at 9 a.m. on Saturday after being closed since last Wednesday.

Jefferson County officials closed the park last week and requested that the United States Army Corps of Engineers review the dam for any damage caused by April's historic flooding.

On Wednesday, Jefferson County Executive Ken Waller met with representatives from the USACE, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, the High Ridge Fire Department and the Jefferson County Department of Parks and Recreation to assess any damages to the dam.

According to a representative, "the USACE verified that the work performed in 2016 to stabilize the failing mill dam did not sustain damage in the recent high water event and is still providing structural stability as designed."

As the park reopens, officials are encouraging anyone wanting to swim in the park's natural bodies of water to do so at their own risk.

The warning comes just a couple weeks after 14-year-old Devon Cotton drowned at the beach.

"He was 14, Devon Cotton, my son was 20," said Jeff Doss.

Doss is the father of 20-year-old Scott Doss, a St. Louis man who drowned at Rockford Beach in June 2014.

"They're too young, it's a senseless death," said Doss. "It doesn't have to be swim at your own risk."

Earlier this month, Doss helped start an online petition to permanently shut down the swimming site. So far, the petition's garnered over 10,000 signatures.

"I would hate to think that another death would have to happen before they did anything," said Doss.

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