In response to Mr. Walter's recent letter regarding cost of splash pads, we would like to thank him for his comments because it allows us the opportunity to share additional information regarding this project with our fellow citizens of Marshalltown. We want to assure you that this has not been a "knee-jerk reaction." Marshalltown is our city, we can choose to respond to any given situation either positively or negatively.
Our choice has been to respond in a positive manner and begin looking for alternate solutions. The concept of Splash_4_Life is meant to compliment the many other ideas being brought forth by our fellow citizens. All of the ideas presented have costs associated with them and have pros/cons, including posting signs along the river or having it patrolled by our local law enforcement.
Our comments with city council during public discussion on July 16 and the follow-up article in the Times-Republican were simply to let people know that there is an initiative started beginning with a support petition. We have begun sharing proposal information with city staff, which includes addressing the ongoing maintenance and ancillary expenses. This has not been approved by the city or formally presented to the council for action.
We are not sure where Mr. Walters got his number on annual maintenance costs, water usage cost and electricity cost of $12,000 per pad, but this number is inflated. We called and had conversations with other locations that have splash pads and the estimated cost for them, a month, to run a splash pad varies depending on size and number of hours the splash pad is being used. There is one in Marion, Iowa that initially cost $200,000 to be built and it ran for 12 hours a day much of last month due to the heat. The man we talked to reported his water bill being $4,000 for the month. Another gentleman I talked to that oversees a splash pad for an apartment complex said his water bill was only $300 for the month. So yes, depending on the size, features of the splash pad and how long it is run throughout the day will cause the water cost to vary. However, there are features on the some splash pads such as a low flow system which will help reduce the water consumption. Both men reported that electricity cost is very minimal.