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Milton dives into splash park

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
June 22, 2011
— Plans for a splash park in Goodrich Park got a boost Tuesday when the Milton City Council gave the city the OK to pursue designs and cost estimates from companies who design the parks.

In a recommendation unanimously approved by the council, City Administrator Jerry Schuetz said getting designs and quotes from multiple companies would give the council more detailed information on the costs, look and economic benefits of a splash park.


Schuetz told the council a splash park would encourage families and visitors to use Goodrich Park. He added it would offer a summertime amenity for less cost than a full pool facility.


“They’re (splash parks) becoming a little more economically feasible when compared to pools,” Schuetz said.


A splash park is listed as part of the Goodrich Square Plan, a streetscape project the city developed last year to turn Goodrich Park into a center of commerce and recreation.


According to city records, the splash park could cost $200,000 to $300,000 and could be paid for through tax increment financing, although the city council first would have to approve plans and a budget for the project.


The Goodrich Square Steering Committee, an ad hoc community group organized to plan the streetscape project, began to focus on a splash park after learning that its plans to renovate the Milton Community Center couldn’t be funded with TIF money.


Burbrach Aquatics, a company that designs splash parks, this month gave a presentation on designs for splash parks with a 5,000-square-foot footprint and a base cost of about $125,000, according to the steering committee. Plans included a system to clean and recycle water at the park.


Other cities with similar-sized splash parks report spending about $5,000 a year in operating costs, Schuetz said.


The council discussed where it would put the splash park. Earlier designs show it would be located on the north side of South Goodrich Park, but the council decided to move it to the south side of the park near an existing pavilion.


The move came after Schuetz said the pavilion could be converted to a changing house and concession stand.


Existing water mains in that part of the park would work for a splash park, Director of Public Works Howard Robinson told the council.


Also Tuesday, the council:


n Approved an ordinance that limits the hours during which businesses with a Class A beer license can sell alcohol. Under the ordinance, local grocery stores and convenience stores with Class A beer licenses must cut off beer and malt liquor sales by 9 p.m.


Prior to Tuesday’s vote, the city allowed Class A beer sales from 8 a.m. to midnight, which mirrors state statutes. But two of the three stores in Milton that hold Class A beer licenses close at 9 p.m.


The 9 p.m. beer curfew will offer “consistency in the community” and is in the spirit of public safety, city officials said.


n Voted to pursue engineering and bid work to replace pavement and a water main along Parkview Drive. The project has been planned in preparation for Highway 26 bypass work slated for the spring of 2012 near Townline Road and Parkview Drive. It would come at a projected cost of $490,000, according to city records.


The city plans to pay for the project with water utility funds, borrowed tax increment financing money and bonds the city floated this spring. Plans could be ready for bids by July 19. Work could start this fall or in spring 2012.



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