By Susan Tebben
Though hopes for a community swimming pool were dashed by money and insurance concerns, the summer months will still be a little cooler for Austintown residents.
The Austintown Park Department has hired My Splash Pad to install a concrete pad 25 feet by 41 feet with five above-ground water sprinklers near the playground in the township park to create a place for water fun.
“Taxpayers and trustees have been asking for something with water, but to have a pool or something with standing water you have to have an insurance policy close to $1 million,” said Todd Shaffer, park supervisor.
For a while, trustees and Shaffer weren’t sure what they were going to do seven months ago when talking about what kind of water feature they could get, but then former trustee David Ditzler and current trustee Jim Davis went on vacations where they saw splash pads in use.
“We sat down at one meeting and talked about them and realized this is the way we could do it,” Davis said.
The bidding process began, and My Splash Pad was chosen to construct the water feature for $34,000, paid out of levy money received by the department.
Shaffer said he hopes that as the project progresses, donations also will come in to help fund the project.
Construction is set to begin this April and should be complete around Memorial Day, Shaffer said.
Officials still are ironing out details, but Shaffer said the plan is to keep the pad open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Residents should not be concerned about the waste of water with the splash pad because of the low pressure of the feature, but also because of the 40-gallon tank being used for it.
“The tank will be underground, and the water will be recirculated and put through a filtration system,” Shaffer said.
“So it’s not like I’m using gallons and gallons of water every day with this,” he said.