Water 'spray garden' proposed for city park

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Council members support idea, cost estimated at $90,000

By Shannon Brock

Children in Lawrenceburg may soon have a watery place to cool off on hot summer days — but that place won’t be a swimming pool.

The city council’s finance committee met last Thursday and discussed the possibility of installing a “spray garden” at the city park. A spray garden is described as an aquatic playground with a series of fountains and sprayers at which children can play, in this case, at no cost to them.

Early estimates have the spray garden costing the city around $90,000.

“I’m very supportive of it,” said Councilman Sandy Goodlett who chairs the committee. “A swimming pool is very unlikely, and this would fill a need for smaller kids.”

Other committee members said the spray garden could fill a need for young children as well as teenagers. Councilman Steve Rucker said the location of the spray garden would draw a large Little League crowd.

The city is proposing to take down one of the volleyball nets at the city park and put the spray garden in its place.

This would still leave one volleyball court in the park, and the volleyball area is the “least used thing at the park,” said City Clerk Robbie Hume.

Several cities in Kentucky have spray gardens and tend to favor them over pools because they are very low maintenance, Hume said.

At its regular meeting Monday night, the full council agreed to have a work session and special called meeting to discuss the spray garden and several other items. The work session is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16 at 1 p.m. The special called meeting will follow at 2 p.m.

Finance committee members said they hope to schedule a trip for the council to see an existing spray garden, possibly in Georgetown.

In other business, the council approved a 3 percent rate increase for the water department. The measure passed by a vote of 5 to 1. Councilman Thomas Vaughn was the lone dissenting vote.

Mayor Edwinna Baker previously told the council that the city’s 2009-10 budget required the rate increase to balance.

The city’s budget passed unanimously on second reading at Monday night’s meeting.

Baker also made a proclamation declaring June 27 and 28 as Amateur Radio Days. On those days, ham radio operators have a field day scheduled to take place in the parking lot at Anderson County High School.

Charlie O’Neal, the county’s emergency management director, gave his final report to the council. On July 1, O’Neal will start in a new position with the state.

O’Neal told the council it was a pleasure to serve as the city’s emergency management director.

“I appreciate your support,” he said.

One visitor, Danny Martin, addressed the council and voiced his concerns about the city’s ordinance that regulates what may or may not be placed at the cemetery.

Martin said he agrees with the city’s ordinance, but said many families are unaware of it and as a result are violating it.

Baker told him she would discuss the matter with the cemetery sexton and add it to the council’s agenda for the June 16 work session.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.