Splash pad continues to take shape & town officials address questions about operations

The new splash pad in Widmeyer Park is starting to take shape as Splash Pad USA is work- ing seven days a week to get the project done. The drains and bases for the water features have been placed. Once the concrete has been poured, it would need to cure for 28 days before the coating can be put on.

by Geoff Fox

Hancock Town Manager Faith gave town officials an update on where things stand with the construction of the new splash pad in Widmeyer Park as well.

He said the crew from Splash Pad USA has been working every day since June 7.

Typically, the company only sends two workers to a site, however, Faith said the company sent five to Hancock to help expedite the project.

Faith and Councilman David Kerns said about 25 loads of stone have been moved into the excavated portion of the site and have begun putting in the drains and bases for the water features.

Once they get everything in, more stone will be added. Then, once that is at the needed level, they’ll pour the concrete for the main slab.

Kerns said there’d be a separate pour for the outer rim and equipment pad.

Faith said the crews and town are trying to get the splash pad done as quickly as possible, but the hold up would be the concrete would have to cure for 28 days before the coating can be applied.

While the curing is taking place, the plumbing and electrical work will be done, Faith said.

Lanehart addressed a concern on social media about rising water rates.

The mayor explained with what water gets splashed out of the pad and evaporated, the splash pad would use about the same amount of water a typical household would use, which is around 55 gallons a day.

The splash pad would recycle the water being used by having a sand filtration system and UV lighting sterilization process.

“It’s not going to have any kind of adverse impact on our water system in town as far as usage,” Faith said.

The cost of the water would be next to nothing, Faith said, as there would be a timer where once there is no activity on the pad, the water would be shut off.

There was also a concern from people about the liability regarding any accidents at the splash pad.

Faith said people could slip and fall in any of the town’s parks but the town has insurance that would cover it, so there’s no real concern on that front.

“We don’t have issues with people suing the town because they fell at Widmeyer Park, so I don’t think there’d be any problems with the splash pad,” Faith said. “If the splash pad was a huge liability, then the company wouldn’t be building it.”

People have also asked why the town couldn’t get a new pool.

Faith addressed those questions and called it “pretty simple” as to why a pool wouldn’t work.

He noted there’s no state or federal money available for pools and they are poor investments.

“I think in a perfect world, a pool would be nice, but if anybody wants to come to the town with $1.2 million, we’ll take your donation and we’ll build a pool next summer,” Faith said. “Then we’ll just lose money on it every year.”

Kerns pointed out the pool in Marty Snook Park in Hagerstown was closed at the time due to repairs, which is another problem the town would have with another pool. The pool was closed June 12 through June 14 for those repairs.

Faith said they’re shooting for August 6, which is National Night Out, as the finish date for the splash pad.