By Alyssa Schnugg
Oxford’s future splash pad will keep kids cool using clean, fresh water.
On Tuesday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved using a fresh-water system to run the future city-owned splash pad.
During its regular meeting Tuesday at City Hall, the Board approved the location of the future splash pad to be built at the Oxford Skate Park, between the playground and the Skipwith Cottage.
The park already has bathrooms and parking, which is one of the main reasons the Oxford Park Commission selected the site at its board meeting last week and made the recommendation to the Board of Aldermen for its approval.
OPC Director Seth Gaines told the Board of Aldermen Tuesday that the Park Commission board voted to recommend the Skate Park for the location; however, they recommended the city go with a recirculating water splash pad.
A recirculating water splash pad would be about $75,000 more to build but would use less water than a fresh-water system. However, it would require city employees to maintain the splash pad daily by adding chemicals to treat the water, much like a swimming pool.
“By the time you add up the costs of maintaining the recirculating system and having someone there every day to clean it, it (recirculating system) might be more expensive in the long run,” said Alderman Rick Addy.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill said that she preferred a fresh-water system.
“The recirculating water just kind of grosses me out,” she said at the meeting.
Gaines said the OPC board recommended the recirculating system mostly due to higher monthly water bills a fresh-water system would incur.
The splash pad would only be in operation during the late spring and summer months.
The Board of Aldermen agreed the limited number of months that the water bill would increase was worth providing clean, fresh water to Oxford’s citizens.
Alderman Mark Huelse made the motion to approve using a fresh-water system for the new splash pad and also included building a holding tank that would collect some of the run-off water to be used for irrigation purposes.
The motion was approved unanimously.
The city has budgeted $175,000 to build the new splash pad that is expected to be built by the summer of 2022.