MONTPELIER — Montpelier Village Council made a splash Monday evening in regard to its long-term plan to draw in more families to the community in the coming years.
After a presentation by the Montpelier Parks & Recreation Board to council, members unanimously approved a statement of intent to install a “splash pad” — or a system of sprinklers, fountains and equipment intended for use by children — to be housed between the village’s tennis courts and existing pool area at Montpelier Municipal Park.
While specifics of the project are not finalized in any way, a $350,000 plan for a 3,849-square-foot area that would feature several fountains, sprinklers and equipment, including a 22-foot long “locomotive” with three slides on top of 7/8-inch foam was put forth by the park board, which sought a letter of intent to lock in 5 percent savings with the firm Water Odyssey.
The splash pad is intended primarily for kids up to age 12, but several in attendance highlighted the setup’s additional utility for the developmentally disabled and seniors. If built, officials said it would be the only publicly accessible feature of its kind in Williams County.
“Some communities have seen an increase in their pool usage because the splash pad draws people out. That potentially could happen,” said Sandy Gordon, director of the village’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“It’s an investment in the community,” added board member Brent Saneholtz.
A recreational area with seating was discussed as a potential later addition, for which the park board plans to petition corporate support for funding.
All water features would be controlled via both button and timer, meaning water would not be wasted after certain times or by overzealous guests. The system would pump 212 gallons a minute with all pieces running.
A financing plan is still in the works, but it is tentatively expected to be paid for in $50,000 yearly increments.
The splash pad would be a supplementary feature to the pool, and would serve as a stopgap if major work is determined to be necessary on the village’s aging pool in the future.
If all work was done at the same time, Poggemeyer Design Group estimated four years ago that refurbishing the pool infrastructure and surrounding structures, as well as installing the splash pad, would cost roughly $1.7 million, illustrating part of the reason the village approved the plan to move ahead with the splash pad project separately and deal with the pool as needed.
In other action on Monday, council:
• Recognized retired Clerk of Council Becky Semer, who was recently honored as the recipient of the Ohio Municipal Clerks Association Clerk of the Year.
• Accepted the retirement of Kerrie Hutchinson from the fire department.
• Approved an application to the Ohio Public Works Commission to pursue a 50-50 matching grant for a nearly $400,000 project to repair and upgrade the Randolph Street lift station. The project would take all the sanitary sewage from the south side of the railroad tracks and push it out to the wastewater treatment plant. It was built in the early 1960s.