Splish, splash at last?
One of the lead items on the Canby City Council's Feb. 20 meeting agenda was the recommended site for a splash pad.
The Park Advisory Board decided on Maple Street Park because that park offers more benefits than problems.
That brought up a long discussion because some members, including the mayor, preferred Wait Park even though at the end they voted unanimously to start steps to put the water feature at Maple Street Park.
There was talk back and forth regarding potentially two splash pads, one at Maple Park and one at Wait Park, but in the end it would be too costly now.
Several suggested Wait Park is a more central location, closer to downtown and would bring more people downtown. But there are regular annual events that happen there, and where should the splash pad go?
"Last night at our council meeting we went through the list again and tried to filter it to through some recommendations from other [city's] splash pads in the area—Molalla, Oregon City, Sherwood, Tualatin—and with those recommendations we filtered it all through and we decided the one location that's most appropriate for a splash pad would be Maple Street Park. We strongly recommend that that be the top consideration," said Mark Triebwasser, committee chair.
The committee also considered Legacy Park, Triebwasser said. But parking on weekends would be impossible. Wait Park has too much shade and trees would have to be removed, which would have upset a lot of people.
"But the committee didn't think it would be appropriate to redesign the park and there's no real parking area—just park on the street," Triebwasser noted.
Maple offers ample shade and sun and the ability to sit and watch the children as they play.
Children are removed from traffic with a potential for fenced area, making it difficult for small kids to run off into the street, Triebwasser told the council.
Another Maple Street benefit is the water pressure would be able to enable a splash pad, and while Wait Park may be irrigated, the water meter would have to be changed, costing extra money. This brought talk of having two splash pads, which members thought would be too costly.
Other than adults taking their kids to the water feature, some councilors worried that a large number of kids wouldn't be able to get to Maple Street; the sidewalks were either non-existent or too small and it was too far to get to from certain areas of Canby. Or they would have to cross 99E.
While Wait Park is centrally located, it's smaller than Maple Street Park and has too much shade and fewer amenities, said Triebwasser.
While some council members hoped to get the splash pad in and open by this summer, City Administrator Rick Robinson told them it would not be ready for the summer heat because there are too many steps to get through.
"It's just not feasible," he said. "As a practical matter, it will not be available this year. We have to solicit proposals for the design phase. Once that's completed and public input received, we need to take bids for construction of the project, which takes a period of time. Then we will receive bids, tally them and award the contract allowing construction to start."