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Would you like to see a splash pad in Belle Fourche?

October 11, 2018

BELLE FOURCHE — If you’d like Belle Fourche to have a splash pad by next summer, the city of Belle Fourche is seeking letters of support from you.

A splash pad is a recreation area, often located in a public park, for water play that has little or no standing water. This is said to eliminate the need for lifeguards as there is little risk of drowning.

Typically a splash pad features ground nozzles that spray water upwards out of the splash pad’s rain deck. There may also be other water features such as a rainbow, a semicircular pipe shower, or mushroom- or tree-shaped showers. Some splash pads feature movable nozzles similar to those found on fire trucks to allow users to spray others. A hand activated-motion sensor often controls the showers and ground nozzles to allow the water to run for limited time.

Krysti Weed, with the city’s engineering department, is heading the project to collect letters required to apply for a state grant that would help fund the water feature.

“I’ve gotten a lot of good support (letters),” Weed said Tuesday.

Weed said the city has received more than 30 letters in the six days since she posted the request on the city’s Facebook page Oct. 3. Many letters have numerous people signing in support of the addition to the Belle Fourche community.

“The comments I’m getting are mainly that people have to drive to Spearfish, or Lead, or Rapid City (to enjoy a splash pad),” she said.

Weed said the support is ranging from parents with special needs children to grandparents from out of town that are looking for a fun safe place to take the children in their lives in the summer.

“It’s just been really nice to see such positive feedback from the city,” she said.

The deadline for the $75,000 grant, facilitated through the state game, fish, and parks department, is Oct. 30. The grant is a 50/50 grant meaning that if awarded, the city would be responsible to pay 50 percent of the costs. The city council budgeted $100,000 for the project in the 2019 capital improvement plan budget.

“If we get the grant, that means that we could actually go up to $150,000 for the splash pad,” she said. “So I’m kind of hoping we get the full $75,000 and then we can increase the size of the pad and the water features in it.”

During a July 30 public works committee meeting, when the topic was originally discussed, Jones Park, off of 11th Avenue, was proposed as the optimal location for the pad. During the meeting, Weed provided a potential design option for the committee to consider which included a 34-foot-by-34-foot concrete spray zone with four to six above ground single spray posts and six to eight ground sprayers.

Weed said she’d collect letters of support for as long as people are willing to send them. If you’d like to send a letter of support, you can do so via email to krysti@bellefourche.org or by mail to Krysti Weed, Engineering Department, 511 Sixth Ave., Belle Fourche SD 57717.

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