News, Union Grove

Village moves forward on splash pad project

By Dave Fidlin

After months of deliberation, Union Grove officials are moving forward on the planned installation of a splash pad with votes tied to two key components of the project.

At its most recent meeting May 22, the Village Board, on a 6-1 vote, officially accepted Racine County’s $500,000 grant offer for the project. The board also chose Joseph Leider Memorial Park, at High Street and 8th Avenue, as the preferred site.

The village’s Recreation and Parks Committee, as well as the full Village Board have discussed the splash pad proposal on multiple occasions within meetings this year.

A number of issues related to the project have been wrangled over including the location, startup and recurring costs and what specific features will be incorporated into the splash pad.

Another ancillary issue discussed prior to the official vote was the type of water that would be used to service the splash pad. It will be treated, according to details shared at the meeting.

Trustee Jennifer Ditscheit, who chairs the Recreation and Parks Committee, said the splash pad will have features installed within the splash pad, with water conservation in mind.

“If there’s nobody there, the water isn’t flowing,” Ditscheit said, indicating the structure will have a sensory feature incorporated within it.

Trustee Jan Winget, the dissenter of the proposal, adamantly opposed moving forward with the project at the recent meeting. She described the current proposal as “a waste of a natural resource.”

While the county is fronting the project with its grant, Winget said she has reservations about the impact the amenity will have on future municipal budgets.

“What concerns me most about this is our budgets are tight,” Winget said. “We’ve got other things that are needs in this village. It concerns me with how we are spending some of our money.”

To that end, Ditscheit said there could be sponsorship opportunities in the future to defray any costs borne by the village for the splash pad for maintenance and upkeep. The sponsorships are part of a broader discussion of funding various projects at Union Grove’s multiple municipal parks.

Ditscheit said the splash pad will have other benefits as well, including features that will serve people with handicaps, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Leider was one of two green spaces under consideration for the splash pad with the other being Village Square Park.

The still-relatively new concept of splash pads have been attractive as aquatic amenities in communities because they are offer low overhead compared to such fixtures as pools and are inexpensive to maintain.

Splash pads also have been attractive, according to experts, because of their maintenance. Depending on the design and overall infrastructure, the maintenance timeframe typically stretches between 5 and 30 years for different parts.

Comments are closed.