Waterloo splash pad plans moving along

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Plans for the splash pad at William Zimmer Memorial Park in Waterloo are progressing. 

At its September meeting last Wednesday, the Waterloo Park District Board provided a short update on its work on the splash pad, which the state awarded the district a $400,000 grant for in January. 

The next step is to complete an archaeological survey on a particular site of the park.

The board thought all that work had been completed when the park’s land was initially rezoned from farmland, but it recently learned that was not the case. 

“Before we can do anything, before we can develop anything there, if we’re spending public money on it, we have to get an archaeological survey on it,” Waterloo Park District Board President Kevin Hahn said. “They said there could be a homestead or wells or something under there.” 

The board is working with HMG Engineers in Breese on the preliminary parts of the project. 

Park board member Michael Nolte also updated the board on some specific plans for the splash pad, which does not yet have an estimated construction timeline.

He said the board is now planning to use a 3,000 gallon tank instead of 2,000 and plans to construct a split face block building with a metal roof similar to one on the other side of the park.

Nolte also said the board will need to get proposals from manufacturers relatively soon to determine what it can get for the splash pad with the money it has to spend. 

The board has decided on an agricultural theme for the park, meaning water features at the splash pad could be in the shape of a tractor or windmill, for example. 

The Waterloo Citizens for a Pool group, which wants to see a community aquatic facility return to the city, has continued attending the park district meetings and lobbying the board to allow room for expansion in its plans for the splash pad. 

Specifically, the group wants the splash pad designed such that a pool could be built later with minimal infrastructure changes. 

The board has not endorsed that idea. 

“We’re strictly applying for it for a splash pad,” Hahn said last September when the board applied for the grant. “We don’t have any plans on expanding too much beyond that right now, because we think what we can get with the grant will be about what we can afford.”

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