Council discusses accepting state grant for splash pad

Cary Ashby • Jun 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Norwalk city council discussed the $200,000 state grant that would fund most of the splash pad at Ernsthausen Community Center.

Law director Stuart O’Hara reminded council members Tuesday that the grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources requires reimbursement, so the city would have to front the money. During the work session, council discussed two resolutions — one about accepting the ODNR grant and another, related one regarding advancing the money from the general fund and repaying it.

Joe Lindenberger, city superintendent of parks and recreation, was asked how much the project is and if there were any expected increased costs. He said the splash pad should cost about $246,000 — a figure the center intends to stick to — and construction will start in September or October after the pool closes. 

A city crew performed preliminary utility work in May. The plan is for the general services department to do some excavation work.

“We’re getting quotes for the project,” Lindenberger said.

The 40-foot by 80-foot splash pad will be east of the zero-depth entry to the outside pool. The recreation area, which is similar to a public playground, uses recirculated, treated pool water.

Lindenberger and recreation director Niki Cross have said they expect the splash pad to get a lot of use, draw more residents to Ernsthausen and reach a larger population, with a primary goal of reaching toddlers and preschoolers through “tweens.”

Councilman Chris Castle asked what the advantage is of having the splash pad at the community center instead being at one of the city parks. Norwalk Public Works Director Josh Snyder said the biggest advantage is “we have all the utilities on-site.”

“Everything is there; we own it,” added Snyder, who also told council there’s a “magnitude in difference” in accessing electricity.

Safety-service director Dan Wendt said the location of the splash pad was mandated by the way the grant proposal was written.

Ernsthausen has received $50,000 from Help Me Grow that will go toward the remaining $200,000 from a Senate Bill 310 community economic development grant. 

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