Aldermen approve downtown splash pad site in Pontotoc

By David Helms/Pontotoc Progress

Pontotoc Aldermen voted last week to locate a proposed water fun splash pad in downtown Pontotoc on North Liberty Street on property currently being used as a parking lot.
The city owned property is located south of Pontotoc City Hall along North Liberty Street on land adjoining the Crausby Body Shop property.
Construction of a splash pad water park has been discussed for the past eight months, but earlier plans had centered around locating the splash pad at Howard Stafford Park.
At last week’s board meeting, Mayor Jeff Stafford recommended building the splash pad downtown on the Liberty Street location.
“Howard Stafford Park is already looking really good with the camping, fishing, playground and walking trail,” Stafford said.
“The city’s workers and the Toyota volunteers did a lot of great things out there this past year.”
Stafford told aldermen the splash pad would benefit the downtown area more.
“We need something to attract folks downtown, it would be centrally located, and a great place for kids to play and cool off,” Stafford said.
Stafford said the splash pad would fit in with other projects slated for 2013, including completion of the Tanglefoot Trail and construction of a market plaza on the south end of the old Sunflower Grocery parking lot.
“Terry Lynn (Donaldson) has done a great job beautifying the court square and we would do the landscaping of the splash pad in-house and make it look nice also,” Stafford said.
Board members Lena Chewe, D.R. Simmons, Tommy Patterson and Rayburn Mapp voted in favor of the recommended splash pad location, while aldermen Herman Austin abstained.
Aldermen also passed two other motions in connection with the splash pad project.
The board authorized Engineering Solutions Inc. of Pontotoc to develop a site plan for the splash pad.
Aldermen also passed a motion to advertise for bids for plumbing installation and concrete work on the project.
Both motions passed 4-0, with Austin abstaining.
Mayor Stafford said the city has budgeted $150,000 for the splash pad project.
“We’ve already bought the equipment (jets and spray nozzles, etc.) for $50,000 and I believe we’ll get some good bids on the plumbing and concrete work,” Stafford said.
“We’ll do all the landscaping and seating ourselves.”
Ellen Russell, Pontotoc Main Street/County Chamber Director said she believes the splash pad will be a plus for downtown Pontotoc.
“Anything nice that brings folks downtown is a positive,” Russell said.
“It would be good to develop a green space area and provide a place for kids to have some fun.”
In other business, aldermen unanimously approved the appointment of David High, Joanne Bradley and Gerald Bell as Pontotoc Election Commissioners.
High and Bradley have already been serving in that capacity, while Bell replaces Carolyn Lauderdale who resigned several months ago.
Their term of office will expire July 1, 2013.
The board also unanimously approved the appointment of Ricky Simmons to the Pontotoc Housing Authority Board, replacing Francis Baker who resigned.
In a new business matter, aldermen approved a motion 4-1 to set the city’s natural gas rates for January at $7.92, which includes $4.00 for operation and maintenance (O/M) and $3.92 price of gas adjustment.
Aldermen Austin voted against the measure.
The board unanimously approved a motion to spend $1,039 to repair damage to a 2008 police car.
Among items adopted (by one motion) on the consent agenda were:
-revise camper rates at Howard Stafford Park from $270 per month to $300 per month and a daily rate of $15. No camper is to stay more than four months a year;
-order setting the bass limit at Howard Stafford Park to 50;
-order authorizing execution of a agreement with Pyro Fire for the July 4th fireworks show in the amount of $6,000, which will be paid out of tourism funds.
-order authorizing fourth annual payment of $30,000 for tuition assistance program for 2012-2013, to Three Rivers Planning and Development District, to be paid from tourism funds.