Rotary Clubs make splash with park proposal

Two of the areas Rotary Clubs have teamed up to bring ambitious splash park plan to city council but location is questioned

Model splash park similar to the one planned by two Terrace Rotary Clubs.

The plans by local Rotary clubs to build a kids splash park in Terrace was supported by Terrace council at a recent council meeting, however several councillors were uncertain that George Little Park is the right location.

Speaking at the Jan. 26 regular council meeting, Terrace Rotary Club president Kelly Gingles said the park, which already contains a playground section, a seniors exercise section and a performance stage, is their preferred location for the facility because of its centrality and accessibility for all social groups.

The Terrace Rotary Club, in concert with the Terrace Skeena Valley Rotary Club who was represented by their president, Lisa Novich, wants to build the up to $250,000 splash park beside the current kids play area.

“Not all families can go to the lakes,” said Gingles, adding that the Rotary clubs had thoroughly considered several locations for the splash park.

Councillor Stacey Tyers said she thought the Southside would be a better location because most city recreational facilities are already downtown, such as the aquatic centre.

She mentioned the park behind Walmart as one possible location or  one on Haugland Ave.

Diminishing green space was also  brought up by Tyers and councillor Lynne Christiansen as worries. She suggested a splash park design that was narrower in dimension and having less of a footprint on the green space.

Councillor Michael Prevost said he wanted to ensure it was a safe distance from traffic on Kalum and other nearby streets.

The Rotary presentation mentioned corporate sponsorship and grants as well as money already set aside for such a project and raised through events such as  Octoberfest.

The groups are confident they can amass the necessary money for a pegged completion date of summer 2016.

Once constructed,  maintenance and water costs would be borne by the city, and Gingles said the estimated price is $1,000 based on a splash park in the similar-sized town of Merritt.

The amount of water used would be approximately the same as four to nine houses use in a year, Gingles told council.

City staff have yet to create an estimate of the cost and will come back to council with a recommendation based on price and their own analysis of possible locations. Councillor Sean Bujtas said he likes the idea but was waiting to see what the cost estimates for utilities and upkeep of the splash park before fully committing to the project.