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June 27, 2013
GROSSE POINTE SHORES — A splashpad is on tap for the municipal park.

Construction could start this fall for installation by next summer.

A proposal by the Grosse Pointe Shores Improvement Foundation places the pad on the lawn between the main swimming pool and shoreline at Osius Park, about where the baby pool is now.

"A need has been brought to our attention over the last couple of years about Grosse Pointe Shores being the only (Pointe) community without a splashpad," said Karl Kratz, vice president of the Grosse Pointe Shores Improvement Foundation and a former councilman. "(Foundation) trustees decided we would like to have as our next project, the splash pad."

Splashpads are ground-level, water-oriented playgrounds. Features, called toys, include such things as twirling flowers that squirt water, water canons and suspended buckets that dump water.

Foundation members offered the $162,000 pad, manufactured by Vortex, to the Shores at no cost.

Yet, the city would have to pay about $25,000 one-time costs to install:

a 3-inch water main,

an 8-inch drain,

sewer line,

electrical feed and control cabinet,

fencing and

brick pavers, according to Mark Wollenweber, city manager.

Ongoing municipal costs consist of supplying the pad an estimated $22,000 worth of fresh water each year.

"We'll be using city water, not recycling it; not chlorinated, not pool water," Wollenweber said. "Parents want the cleanest operation."

The foundation's mission is to continually improve the community with support of the city and the city council.

"In the past, we've done the (Osius Park) pavilion, park walkway, playscape, gates and, more recently, the field house (at Schroeder Park, behind city hall)," Kratz said.

The foundation has $162,000 in the bank to buy the splashpad, he added.

A construction schedule calls for installing underground infrastructure, such as water lines, before winter.

"Next spring, we could complete what's left, which is putting in the toys and complete the project, so in summer of 2014, we're ready to go," Kratz told members of the city council Tuesday, June 18.

"It's a great concept, a wonderful idea," said Mayor Ted Kedzierski.

"The foundation would approve funding for the full amount," Kratz said. "We would come up with half of the money from savings this fall. The other $80,000 would come at the end of the project, when it's completed in spring of 2014."

Kratz accepted a recommendation by Councilman Bruce Bisballe for the city to act as project manager.

The arrangement puts the city in a better position to enforce the pad's warranty, said Kedzierski.

"We would never do anything without city approval," Kratz said.

The pad may replace the baby pool, which would save the city the cost of providing a lifeguard and chemicals to clean the water, Kratz said.

"The splash pad requires no manpower because there is no ponding water," he said. "This also is designed to be handicapped accessible."

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