GALLIPOLIS — As talks of a potential splash pad being built in Gallipolis City Park continue, the Gallipolis Park Advisory Board gathered Monday morning in the town municipal building, with three members of five members on the board stating they felt the splash pad would be good for Gallipolis but its placement in the park was not ideal.
Board members Karen McCarty and Pat Mills were indisposed with other matters during the Monday meeting. Board Chairman Tommie Vaughn was present with members Mary Lee Marchi and Lori Young. Parks office representatives Brett Bostic and Bev Dunkle, along with Gallipolis City Manager Gene Greene, were also present for the meeting.
Members discussed previous news shared by Downtown Revitalization Project members in their previous proposals to city commissioners.
Vaughn said he felt the idea of the splash pad in the park carried a variety of benefits and challenges. Chief among some of his concerns were the potential for the pad to be vandalized. Greene had concerns with, if the city said yes to the splash pad, would it spur further projects to be created in the park in the future.
Original splash pad plans discussed a 30-by-30 foot square design. Plans also included potential historic designs to be placed around the pad as well as park benches added to the pad area. Vaughn had questions as to whether this was all meant to be included in the 30-by-30 foot pad design, or if they would be placed outside of the pad. He also pondered the nature as to whether the area around the pad would become muddied from constant water and travel from increased foot traffic.
Greene expressed concern that if the pad was created it may detract traffic from the city pool. Board members said they felt water attractions may be better suited to Haskins Park.
Board members would eventually state they felt the splash pad was best suited to areas other than the City Park. Some even suggested open lots in the downtown area could be used for the project but that was open to discovering what entities owned them and whether they would be willing to strike a deal in regards to the splash pad’s creation. Vaughn said he would potentially like to see a more detailed proposal of the park, including the historic element designs included in mock-up plans.
Greene said that many in the community regarded the park as almost “sacred” as it had been a focal point of the community for years.
Downtown Revitalization Project members have said they would like to meet with the public and commissioners in a potentially larger venue than the City Municipal Building in order to fit more public members who wish to ask questions about the splash pad proposal in the future. Their goal is to see the pad as a means of generating fun for families downtown while also promoting business traffic in the area.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.