Splash pad considered for Yep Kanum Park

By: 
KATIE DUNN
S-E Reporter

Colville City Council is considering replacing the damaged and leaking wading pool in Yep Kanum Park with a splash pad.

Yep Kanum Park’s wading pool has been in need of repairs for several years now. The wading pool barely made it through the 2015 summer, and by the end of 2016 the wading pool was closed permanently because it continued to leak.

For Colville’s 2016 city's Capital Facilities Plan, it was estimated that $70,000 was needed to build a small flow-through splash pad to replace the existing kiddie pool.

The splash pad project was set aside when concerns on the longevity the city pool's filtration system prompted council to replace the rusted filters in November.

With the new year, council is once again discussing the possibility of a recreational water feature.

Jillian Marshall, Colville's Recreation Coordinator, presented different options the city could take to replace the dilapidated kiddie pool during the Jan. 24 council meeting.

Options ranged from doing nothing, to using city funding to leverage grants for a more elaborate and larger splash pad structure.

Marshall worked with Project Manager Steve Nelson, from Century West in Spokane, and Colville Municipal Services Administrator Eric Durpos, on researching different types of splash pads the city could build.

Council member Anne Lawson raised concern that an elaborate splash pad will detract attention from the city's swimming pool.

Durpos noted that a splash pad targets younger kids, three to eight, whereas the pool is meant for an older crowd.

Council member Doug Kyle echoed similar thoughts in that a certain demographic visited the city's wading pool.

Kyle said visitors are families and their children who are playing on the adjacent kiddie toys and “need a place to get cold and wet.” He added that the splash pad is a way for these families to spend inexpensive time in the park.

Council member Bill Pifer has kept an eye on the wading pool during its decline and said he noticed many of the families utilizing it were young families with kids.

Pifer said the splash pad doesn't need to be elaborate, it just needs to serve the purpose of cooling off the kids.

Marshall reported that the Park and Recreation Commission favored the idea of taking more time to apply for grants with in order to build a larger splash pad.

Because the grant process would potentially add an additional two years to the project, the commission noted that this plan would not address the current need of the community.

The Park and Recreation Commission left the decision for council to decide.

Flow-through

Council favored replacing the current wading pool with a flow-through water system splash pad.

The pad would essentially take up the same footprint as the wading pool, which is the most cost efficient option.

There's already water service, power and drains at the location, and none of the trees would have to be removed.

If the splash pad was moved to another location, a large portion of the project's funding would be consumed by infrastructure, which is money that could be spent on fixtures for the children.

Pifer said he liked the wading pool location because of its proximity to the kiddie toys.

With this flow-through design, the water for the pad would hook directly into the city’s potable water.

It’s cheaper and easier to get the health code passed for a splash pad with this type of filtration system, explained Marshal.

Durpos said the water is required to go into the city's sanitary sewer system because there could be potential blood-borne pathogens and body fluids in the water after use.

The effects of three to four months of splash pad use on the city's water department will be negligible, according to Durpos.

Potential funding sources for the splash pad includes money from the Spencer Memorial Fund, which currently has $369,455 with $290,637 tied in bonds until May 2, and the Capital Facility Projects (CFP) budget, according to Mayor Louis Janke.

“We have a lot of things we can do with the CFP funds,” said council member Nancy Foll. “I'm in support of this project, but I do not want to spend a great deal of CFP funds for this.”

Foll recommended allotting $85,000, and for Parks and Recreation to return to council with a detailed design of a splash park that could be built with that amount of funding.

Durpos noted that this amount of money is low for this type of structure, so the splash pad will be basic.

The Parks and Recreation Department will solicit proposals of designs from different contractors based on the amount of money the city is willing to spend, which is a common practice when building splash pads.

“The main goal is to get something installed so the kids can enjoy summer and enjoy the spray park,” Durpos said.

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