1/30/2014 10:52:00 AM City pursuing plans for pool 'splash park'
Artist renditions of the planned splash park at the Robinson pool shows some of the planned elements. It includes a pirate ship with water cannons, and bubblers, sprayers and other toys. The water will be heated, allowing the extension of the season, said Mike Shimer, parks director. He said he expects the new structures will add to the 22,000 to 25,000 attendees they have a year. (Graham Milldrum photos)
The Robinson City Council is moving ahead on seeking funding for a planned splash-park addition to the city pool.
The $900,000 project is expected to begin work this fall.
The splash park is centered around a pirate ship with cannons and buckets that dump water.
It will also include an area where water jets shoot up from the ground. There will also be squirting frogs and turtles.
Shimer told the Daily News this sort of installation is becoming more popular in recent years.
The change also includes removing the current slide that is 121 feet long and replacing it with a new structure that will contain two interweaving slides. One will be 161 feet long and enclosed. The other will be 141 feet long and open.
Shimer said part of the goal is to provide an alternative to the existing kiddie pool, which doesn't include many interactive options.
The plan includes upgrading the pumping system to support the new structures and a new liner for the pool. The pumping system will also include heating elements for the splash park, which will help extend the season, Shimer said.
The Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant through the Illinois Department of Natural resources, which was the initial funding source, caps at $400,000. It also would require the city to pay half of the cost.
The Park and Recreational Facility Construction Act grant, also through the Department of Natural Resources, caps out at $2.5 million.
It also requires the city will to pay 25 percent of the cost.
To go ahead with the project, the council approved a $300 non-refundable application fee.
If the city does not get the PARC grant, it can still apply for the OSLAD grant, said city treasurer Denise Jobe.
They have until March 10 to apply for the PARC grant.
Shimer said they have already received one large donation for the project. He added that companies or groups can sponsor individual items in the park, like the frog and turtle.