Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Walker: Splash Pads More Realistic For Cookeville Than Aquatics Facility

Cookeville City Council Member Eric Walker proposing the idea of multiple small splash pads around the city rather than one large aquatics facility.

Walker said that there are so many infrastructure needs and other priorities for city spending. He said smaller splash pads would be more realistic than a $30 million aquatics facility.

“They don’t require full-time lifeguards, they don’t require as much maintenance over time as a full facility,” Walker said. “But they do give a lot to the community for kids to go have fun and get wet in the summer, a lot like our Dogwood Park fountain does.”

Walker said the last council had briefly discussed the possibility. He said while it does not replace a pool, he believes it is certainly an option going forward.

Walker said this is an idea that will likely not be addressed in this year’s budget. He said the city could identify this as a future capital project to explore in more detail.

“It’s kind of a way of saying here are some things we want to keep our eye on in the future as we watch how the revenue changes for the city,” Walker said. “You know we get over half our revenue from sales tax so if that continues to be a driving force for our revenues, then there may be opportunities out there that when we identify capital improvement projects it’s a way to make a list of what we need in the future.”

Walker said the important thing is to make these realistic decisions when it comes to major projects for the city. He said something like a splash pad is in the affordable range and would not be a huge tax burden for the city.

“It certainly can’t provide as much benefit as a major water park or pool or aquatics facility,” Walker said. “But as a cost-saving, it could be a good feature to have in our community.”