New splish-splash is proposed for big cash

Safety, savings and space is the triad behind a pitch by Lawrenceburg Councilman Tony Abbott and city pool manager DeeDee Abbot for a new $1 million splash park at the city swimming pool.

The husband and wife duo told the city’s park board Monday, Aug. 6, that much of the equipment for small kids at the Pat O’Neill Memorial Pool is obsolete, and that some features at the splash pad have resulted in minor injuries.

That feature was shut down this summer after a mother’s cell phone video caught the full action of her daughter forcefully knocked to the concrete, sustaining bruises to her hip and other areas of her body.

The video made it to Mayor Kelly Mollaun, who ordered suspension of the splash bucket.

“I would love to see us update this and put some new stuff in there. I think it would be great for Lawrenceburg. I think it would be a big attraction for us, and it would be a good thing for the citizens here,” DeeDee Abbot told the board.

“And trust me, the skinned knees, toes, faces, hands we get over there are quite a lot. It is a running area. That is what it is designed for.”

The area is concrete. The new area would be “soft,” she explained.

DeeDee Abbot also pointed out many parts for the 10-year-old splash park are no longer obtainable.  

Tony Abboitt said many residents complain the baby pool is too small, and DeeDee Abbot said they call it “the mini hot tub.” The pool holds about 10 small children, she said.

“It has seen better days, and it’s costing the city a lot of money, and some of the features are even getting dangerous” said Tony Abbott.

The splash pad facility does not recycle water, making it financially inefficient. The water is pumped through sprinklers or down a slide, then runs to the sewer. More water then is used, he said.

Meanwhile, the baby pool is leaking two to three inches daily, and repairs would require digging, said DeeDee Abbott.

Park board members, however, would not bite on the estimated cost, and asked for competitive bids. Mollaun asked city construction manager Mario Todd to look into competitive pricing for the entire project.

With summer coming to an end, Abbott asked for a vote at the next scheduled meeting Monday, Aug. 20, to provide enough time for planning and construction before the pool opens in the summer of 2019 if the proposal is approved. 

The Dearborn County Register & Journal Press

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