Expect to wait for spraypark | VailDaily.com

Expect to wait for spraypark

Steve LynnVail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyThis artists rendering, though not to scale, shows how the spraypark planned for Edwards Freedom Park is supposed to look. The spraypark should have been ready this summer, a former county commissioner said.

EDWARDS – Kim Olson and her young children may have to wait longer for a spraypark than some had expected. “I think it would be awesome for the kids,” Olson said, lying in the shade and watching her children run around Freedom Park’s playground in the summer heat.Construction would begin later this summer, said Commissioner Sara Fisher. A spraypark is a series of fountains and water jets for children to run through and play. The park would be about 800 square feet in size with a rough finish that would be durable and slip-resistant.”I don’t know whether it will be completed by the end of the summer, but we were hoping that was the case,” Fisher said. The park should be ready for children to splash in and have fun in, said Tom Stone, a former Eagle County Commissioner. Stone came up with the idea for the park and has tried to push the project through for a “couple years,” he said. The current county commissioners have taken too long and Stone is “beginning to wonder if it will ever happen,” he said. “The current leadership doesn’t seem to know how to get projects done on a timely, cost-efficient basis,” Stone said.The county has selected a company to build the spraypark and construction should begin in the “next few weeks,” Fisher said. “I think it was delayed as almost every construction project is,” Fisher said. “I don’t think it was intentional.”The park was supposed to cost $120,000, but it rose to $200,000, said Commissioner Arn Menconi. Other details, such as monthly operating costs, had to be worked out as well, Menconi said. “You need to have all that information before you can make a smart decision,” Menconi said.”The spraypark is going to get built, and the kids are going to enjoy it,” he said. Plans called for a low-pressure water spout for toddlers, a sprinkler for kids and a gushing geyser for older water lovers. The park was planned for the southern edge of the Freedom Park parking lot, just west of the athletic fields in front of the park restroom.Not everyone wants a spraypark. “I think funds should be spent somewhere else,” said Kimberly Brewster, an Edwards resident who was watching her kids at Freedom Park’s playground. The valley has ample opportunities for fun and recreation without the addition of a spraypark, Brewster said. More people would use the park, creating more traffic, she said.Olson worried that the park would waste water, she said. The park would have a shut-off time so water isn’t wasted. Drains located throughout the park would prevent stagnant water. Water consumption was the biggest concern. Other communities with sprayparks have tried to address this concern by recirculating the water through the fountains.However, some of those communities reported cases of giardia and other bacterial infections in users, said Siri Nelson, a county engineer, pointing out that children will attempt to drink the water. For that reason, the county plans to have only fresh water flowing through the park.Not wanting to waste more water than necessary, the county plans to funnel the spraypark water into a pond that would be used to water the nearby athletic fields and other plants in Freedom Park. The board approved the project by a vote of 2-0 on May 22. Menconi left the meeting before the vote.===============================The bill: $200,000The contributors:• Eagle County: $60,000• Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District: $20,000• Edwards Metro District: $20,000• Great Outdoors Colorado Grant: $100,000===============================Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.

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