After being plagued with problems last summer and at other times in the past, the Town of Ponoka allotted $65,000 to improvements to the splash park and began underground work on Monday, June 3.
The splash park usually opens for the season sometime between May long weekend and mid-June, and with temperatures rising in the last week, residents are eager for the popular splash park, located in Lion’s Centennial Park, to be up-and-running.
The amount for the upgrades, which came from the Federal Gas Tax fund (FGT), was approved as part of the 2019 capital budget at the town’s regular council meeting on May 14.
“The work could not begin until the 2019 Town Budget was approved,” said Sandra Smith, communications manager for the town. “Work to put the project into motion, including procurement of services, began almost immediately after the budget was approved.”
The improvements will include a new three-inch water line to serve the splash park, mechanical upgrades that include a series of new metres and valves, electrical upgrades, a new pump out and overflow system and new nozzle jets on the splash park pad.
The new water supply will be a flow-through system using treated town water to prevent breakdowns. Using a flow-through system was suggested by town administration in fall, 2018, and council asked administration to come back with a more exact cost estimate during 2019 budget discussions.
According to a news release from the town, the improvements will eliminate the need for daily maintenance interruptions at the facility, meaning more playing time with a more reliable water source.
Initial onsite work began on May 27. A contracted crew from Rohi Engineering was working on exposing water lines on May 30 in preparation for further work.
Construction crews were onsite June 2 and started work on June 3. The improvements are expected to take about two weeks, depending on weather conditions.
“Town contractors will work to complete the splash park improvements as quickly as possible so that facility users can once again enjoy the splash park throughout the summer,” the release said.
“The town thanks splash park users for their patience and understanding while the planned upgrades are being completed so that citizens can fully enjoy this facility throughout the coming summer months.”