This week, I begin The Mayor’s Corner by asking a question: How many times have you heard someone say, “There is nothing for the kids to do around here?” If you have heard that comment, then I want you to consider the following. What would you think about some of those same persons saying, “Who is going to pay for the water at that splash pad?”
Now, I will try to answer with another question – who do you think?
Until someone comes up with an alternative plan, the Town will pay for Discovery Junction’s Splash Pad water, out of the general fund. Yes – it is kind of like taking money out of one pocket and putting it in another. But the point is – other water customers will not pay any more for their water, than they are currently paying.
This also gives me the opportunity to remind people of something that is not commonly known. The Town pays a water bill like everyone else. The water cost is built into the rate structure. It is based partly on meter size, with the same conditions and regulations, as authorized by the Public Service Commission.
When the splash pad was first tested, no water was in the street, and not all of the concrete pad got wet. One of our first discoveries at Discovery Junction was this: A dozen kids spread more water than a technician’s test. The kids’ steady usage provided another discovery: Water escaping into the street.
To be ready for the splash pad opening, Lauren Bennett worked tirelessly, determined to have the area ready for the kids to use. She told me that approximately 35 other volunteers had worked on the project at different times. Some for a few hours and others, like Mike Hamrick, worked several days, helping to lay rock around the pad, where there was no grass. The rock was beautifully laid by these several volunteers, (some of whom we will recognize later). Laying the rock to the same level as the sidewalk looked great. However, there was another Discovery – the sidewalk slopes to the street, and the water escapes to the lowest area, i.e., Ninth Street.
So, the water in the street, when the splash pad is in use can be corrected. We believe a curb under the fence will eliminate most of the lost water. It probably will not happen tomorrow, but we know what to do. One thing for sure. The kids did not notice any of these things.
They were having too much fun at a space provided for the sole purpose of giving our kids, their parents and others a place to go and something to do.