Memorandum of understanding paves way to complete work on City of Prineville property

People can soon expect to see work begin on a new splash pad planned for Prineville.

City of Prineville officials recently approved a memorandum of understanding that essentially gives the Kiwanis Club of Prineville permission to build the project on city land.

"It was something that we had to get in place to make it legal," said Kiwanis member Wayne Looney, who has helped spearhead the splash pad project. "Because it is city-owned property, there is a problem with Anderson Pool Works (the company chosen to build the attraction) doing work there."

The splash pad will be built on Stryker Field just east of Crook County Fire and Rescue, near the corner of Northeast Fourth and Court streets.

"The city can't sign the contract with Anderson Pool Works because if they do, it becomes a public project and a whole bunch of other rules come into play," Looney added. "It would have been impossible for us to build that until an agreement was reached."

City Attorney Jered Reid drew up a memorandum of understanding that the Prineville City Council reviewed and approved last week. That document will allow construction of the splash pad, and once it is done, the facility will become property of the city. Crook County Parks and Recreation Department will at that point take over maintenance of the facility.

The splash pad itself is just one of the items slated for construction in the coming weeks. The attraction must by law include a nearby restroom, which will actually go in ahead of the splash pad.

Looney said he hopes to meet with city public works leaders and local construction companies early next week to develop a construction schedule. Ideally, work will start taking place within the next 10 days.

"The first part of the work that needs to be done is SMAF doing some dirt work to prepare for the slab that will support the bathroom," Looney said, noting that SMAF is donating the excavation work, and Joe Floyd and Sons is building the concrete restroom. "It takes (Joe Floyd and Sons) about a month to build one of those bathrooms, so I want them to start right away."

Once that restroom is complete, Anderson Pool Works, a Portland-based company, can start on the splash pad. Looney has been told by the company that they can complete that portion of the project in about 20 to 30 days.

"Our goal is to bring this online at the end of June or the first week of July," Looney said. "There are people waiting to go. We just have to get a schedule set up."

The Kiwanis Club has the $150,000 in the bank to fund the splash pad construction and thanks to a City of Prineville donation can also afford to build the restroom. The club is still raising funds to pay for terracing the southwest corner of the park for seating and to install shade structures, but Looney is confident they will raise the money needed and have the means to work on the terracing and shade structure installation during the splash pad construction.

"It is our idea to try to get all of this project done at roughly the same time," he said. "We have had so much help with in-kind donations that we are in good shape financially to finish this project."

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