County contributes $100,000 to help build water spray park

County council has decided to jump in and contribute $100,000 in cash and some site preparation work to see the water park built in Centennial Par

You might think the granddads around the Ponoka County council table would be a generation or two removed from seeing the benefits of a water spray park but you’d be all wet.

County council has decided to jump in and contribute $100,000 in cash and some site preparation work to see the water park built in Centennial Park.

Kinette Club co-president Leah Cline told council recently that in addition to serving Ponoka and district residents, the proposed spray park is also seen as a tourist attraction “to help make Ponoka a destination area.”

She said spray parks have become a popular addition in many communities, replacing wading pools as a way for the whole family to cool off in the summer.

The Ponoka park is budgeted at $430,000; the Lions Club and the Kinsmen and Kinettes have agreed to contribute $100,000 in total. Cline hopes to have the park open for Canada Day 2011.

“We have the town on board,” Cline told council. “They’re contributing power, water and sewer to the site, and the operation and maintenance after it’s all completed.

“We as service clubs are going to build it and give it as a gift to the town.”

While the clubs would build the spray park in Centennial Park near the new tourist information booth, the Town of Ponoka would be responsible for annual operating costs, from mid-May to mid-September, estimated at $12,336.

“The biggest thing for sure is that operating support forever,” said CAO Charlie Cutforth. “The capital contribution is usually easier to handle.”

Cline said the clubs plan events to raise more funds from the community and there will be opportunities for businesses to get on board.

“We’re hoping optimistically that the county could match our service groups and we’re asking for $100,000 including site preparation.”

But Reeve Gordon Svenningsen went one better and made a motion to contribute $100,000 plus site preparation.

Coun. Keith Beebe supported the motion but thinks the clubs are “setting up a babysitting service” for parents. Back in the day, kids ran through a garden hose in their yard if they wanted a spray park.

A spray park is “one of those things that makes a community,” said Coun. Paul McLauchlin.