Revelstoke council gave its formal support to the splash park proposal, but they’ve held off on on a decision on the tough questions.
Council voted to give support in-principle to the efforts by the Revelstoke Splash Park group to build a facility in the community, with the condition they hold an open house and seek public input first.
“With an approval the ball then is in their court to see what level of support there is,” said Mayor Mark McKee. “I think it’s a good project. I’ve supported it from the start.”
Amanda Hathorn, who is leading the Revelstoke Splash Park group’s efforts to build the facility, told council their goal is to bring back an outdoor water facility to Farwell Park.
“We’re a group of community members that want to see the unused wading pool space that was in Farwell Park used to benefit the children of Revelstoke,” she said. “The loss of the wading pool has been hot topic for parents in Revelstoke for quite a few years.”
Council’s support was expected. The biggest decision — what kind of water system the splash park will use – was put off until after an open house is held. Council will have to decide if they go with a flow-through system, which is cheaper to install, but uses more water and is costlier to operate; or a recycled system, which would cost more to install but would use less water and be cheaper to run.
Hathorn argued in favour of the flow-through system. She told council the system was cheaper to install, required less maintenance, and didn’t use chemicals.
“With over 100 splash parks in BC, only five per cent use a recycled system, and that is primarily because of the prohibitive cost of install,” she said.
A report by Laurie Donato, the city’s director of parks, recreation and culture, says the flow-through system would cost $378,000 to install and $22,000 per year to operate. A recycled system would cost $615,000 to install and $8,000 per year to run. The latter would be cheaper over a 25-year life cycle.
The splash park group will be expected to raise the money to install the park, while the city would be responsible for ongoing operation and maintenance.
Hathorn told council the group’s goal is to build a park that would cater to ages 0–9. It would include a toddler area. water cannons, an archway, a water dumping feature and more. The features would be on push-button timers, so they would only spray water while in use.
She said the timers would limit water use.
Alan Chabot, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer, said council should consider water use when it makes a final decision on the park.
Hathorn also hopes the park will be built in Farwell Park, where the wading pool was located until it was closed down in June 2013.
The location of the park would be part of the discussion at the open house.
“It does make sense because there’s infrastructure in place,” said Donato, when asked about Farwell Park. “The parks are all serviced but to accommodate this type of development, there would be additional infrastructure that would be required.”
Council will likely make its decision on the location and water system after the public open house. The date for the open house has not been set.