During one of Epworth’s most signature annual events, Town and Country Days, aside from the parade and comradery, one crowd-favorite is always the homemade, visqueen slip-and-slide.
The amount of joy such a simple summertime activity brings to area children got Epworth Mayor Sandra Gassman thinking that the city should provide a more permanent feature.
With a city-owned pool being more or less an impossibility, she thought the addition of a splash pad to one of the city’s parks would be a great way for children to cool off on those hot summer days.
“Watching the kids play and seeing the fun they have on that, I think that might have been what first sparked the idea,” Gassman said.
The City of Epworth is currently conducting a one-question, online poll that will likely remain active for another two weeks to see how the public feels about a splash pad. A link is available on the city’s website.
“It’s to gauge support,” City Clerk Janet Berger said, adding they are still in the process of determining more precise details before the council enters into budget sessions. “We’ve talked about some potential donations that could add features to the project, so we’re still in consideration-mode.”
But the idea is already apparently a popular one — as of Jan. 4, Berger said they’ve had 240 participants in the online poll, breaking down to 238 in favor and two against.
The proposed building site is located adjacent to the new playground at Tower Park and according to city documents, the total estimated cost will be around $380,000. The current proposal to pay for the endeavor includes using $250,000 from local option sales tax and $130,000 from grants and donations.
Further broken down, the $380,000 includes $152,340 for the feature itself, $197,715 for things like grading, excavating, electrical, concrete and the like, and $29,945 for engineering services.
According to the city’s website, the project will be funded with already-collected taxes and no property tax dollars will be allocated to construction.