Early opening for splash pad?

The Waterloo Park Board touched on a range of items at its most recent monthly meeting, with some larger discussions focused on praise for the splash pad’s ongoing progress and further talk about the skate park.

Splash pad talk came toward the end of the meeting as activity at William Zimmer Memorial Park off Rogers Street was discussed.

Waterloo Park Board Vice President Michael Nolte opened by noting he is working toward a draft of rules, policies and hours for the splash pad to be presented at the January meeting, adding he has been asking about security cameras for the facility estimated to cost $3,762.

Nolte also spoke about his work with Rain Drop – the company providing the various aquatic features for the splash pad – which involved the matters of general maintenance and winterization training.

“Once the site is complete, they will visit and provide us with both of those trainings, the operation training – how we maintain the chemicals and run the features and all that – and then the winterization,” Nolte said. “They said it’s a very simple process.”

He added that inspections from the Illinois Department of Public Health will take place imminently as the project’s piping was recently completed, after the facility is complete and then annually at random times throughout the year.

Waterloo Park District Superintendent Don Prater mentioned the splash pad building will be heated by a furnace and duct work, also speaking about plans to put the facility’s lights on a timer in order to avoid bothering nearby residents.

Prater further spoke with enthusiasm for the overall progress that has been made on the splash pad, noting that the project is currently under budget and has been aided by fair weather over the last few weeks.

“We’ve been very lucky,” Prater said. “It’s been a perfect winter for working. All in all, the project’s going… you couldn’t ask for it to go any better… If you’ve got any complaints about this job, you ain’t ever done very many.”

Additional discussion on the splash pad concerned when to open the facility and the possibility of having an early opening ceremony depending on spring weather.

Following last meeting’s change to skate park hours, the board last week discussed various rules to be adopted at the park.

Among those rules was the establishment that children under 10 are required to have parental supervision at the skate park.

Commissioners also expressed that the park is intended for skating activity, and those looking for a playground can find one nearby in Koenigsmark Park. Nolte noted an exception to this rule as individuals can use the park’s hockey facilities without skates if they like.

Waterloo Park District Attorney Paul Schimpf explained that the reason behind establishing these rules is to both help keep residents safe and protect the park district from liability.

“Obviously we have the rules so people know what they can and cannot do, but the other reason that we have these rules posted is to protect ourselves liability-wise,” Schimpf said. “When people use the skate park for skating and biking, they are doing that at their own risk, but with these rules, we’re telling them that we recommend that you have personal safety gear. We don’t intend for you to use this when there’s ice.”

A new sign at the skate park outlining these rules is planned.

Also at the meeting, the board approved various emergency authorities for the board’s president – currently Gina Pfund.

These powers include the accepting of gifts on behalf of the board as well as approving emergency expenditures, bill payments, facility closures and other actions meant to allow for certain operations to occur between monthly district meetings without the need to call an emergency meeting.

The board also conducted a meeting of its efficiency committee along with community representative Alan Mitan, simply touching on the fact that they will review numerous district policies with the goal of producing an efficiency study sometime next year.

Community resident Tony Grasso III – who frequently attends various governmental meetings – spoke at the start of the meeting, suggesting that the park district sell its real estate and lease it back.

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Andrew Unverferth

HTC web