• Last modified 59 days ago (May 22, 2024)


Mayor explains splash pad leak

Staff writer

Contending there was “nothing sinister or underhanded,” Marion Mayor Mike Powers concluded Monday’s city council meeting by explaining how discussion of a proposed splash pad managed to make its way into meeting minutes even though it had never been discussed in a public session.

Powers said he had met with leaders from Marion Advancement Campaign and Marion Economic Development Inc. to see “what kind of things we might want to do.”

A splash pad was one of the suggestions, he said, and those involved “agreed on a location that seemed logical.”

The location is a vacant lot across Main St. from Central Park.

Powers said he asked interim city administrator Mark McAnarney to “do a little research to see whether we could afford to do it.”

Powers theorized that city clerk Janet Robinson overheard their discussion.

That, he said, may explain why she wrote in council minutes that McAnarney had told council members he was working with a representative from Ranson Financial to apply for a grant that would help pay for “a possible splash pad to be installed in one of the parks” even those McAnarney never mentioned a splash pad in making that statement to the council.

Powers admitted Monday that he would “like to continue to look into it,” but added: “I don’t think we’re in a position to move on it now.”

Previous mayors and administrators have been criticized for not involving the public in early discussions of major projects and presenting such proposals as take-it-or-leave-it propositions, with all options already having been decided.

The case of the splash pad, residents have expressed to the Record concern about locating it across busy Main St. from Central Park because children might dart into traffic where not even a crosswalk exists.

Several also have suggested that a location near the Sports and Aquatics Center might be more appropriate.

Unless they are connected to larger pools for purification of water, splash pads must use fresh water each time they are activated. This can be an expensive operating cost, residents have said.

Other residents have complained that the city needs street, sidewalk, and other infrastructure work more than it does a seasonable recreation facility.

Last modified May 22, 2024