|Grant for splash pad in Martin proposed |
|Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 2:48 pm |
| BEATING THE HEAT – Children and parents alike enjoy playing at the family friendly splash pad at a public park in Chattanooga this summer. The pad is quite similar to the one proposed for downtown Martin. |
An informal city meeting held on Monday had local officials discussing renovations to the old city hall building and the potential for a city splash pad.
Among a variety of new resolutions and ordinances, two presentations were given to city aldermen from Chief of Police David Moore.
With the old city hall building left vacant, Moore gave a brief summary on some of the plans the police department has for renovating the building for headquarters expansion.
“The big area where we had city hall is going to be our patrol room,” Moore said.
“The current CID space is what we’ve needed for years and years … we’re going to have two interview rooms right there in the old CID part.”
Renovations started in the old city hall building last Monday, and Moore adds that quite a bit of the work has been done on their own.
“We’ve got someone doing some painting and we’ve got some prices on new carpet,” Moore said. “So far we’ve been able to do everything with the exception of some telephone lines that have to be moved. Everything else we’ve pretty much been doing in-house.”
Moore also gave a presentation on the Martin Police Department’s participation in crimereports.com, an interactive website where users can look up crime events in their area as they occurred. The website – which claims to work with over 800 agencies across the U.S. – provides analysis on crime trends for law enforcement agencies while sharing current neighborhood crime data with the public.
Moore adds that the trends and patterns view will aid the police department with directing patrols and building comparisons.
“Intelligent policing is the way of the future,” Moore said. “What we’re going to be looking at it for is to see where we need to be paying more attention”
Moore said the cost is $99 a month to subscribe to the service. Moore proposed to the Mayor that the city use registration fees from sex offenders to offset the cost, although no decision has yet been made.
Another notable piece of new business was a presentation of a resolution that hopes to attain recreation program funds for making improvements for the city’s park system.
Martin Parks and Recreation Director Brian Moore was in attendance to inform aldermen on the current situation within the city park system, as well a new prospect for the city: a splash pad for the festival park area.
“They’re like a 30 by 40 concrete pad with the center one running all the time so it looked like a fountain,” Moore said.
“There are these little things that kids can walk through during the concert … there would be a timer so it came on during a certain time in the morning.”
A splash pad features ground nozzles that spray water upwards from the pad’s raindeck. The ground nozzles are often controlled by a hand activated sensor to run for a limited time. Moore noted that the water used for the proposed splash bad would be recycled and treating to meet the same standards as a swimming pool.
The Parks and Recreation Department hopes to use the property value on that sector to match the grant and that having the splash pad would create more foot traffic in the downtown area of Martin.
“We’re hoping to use that money for our match to be able to do something for downtown business to help foot traffic,” Moore said. “They’re a growing thing; a lot of people use the splash pads to replace pools. There’s no liability for anyone to drown – there’s no lifeguard. They’re a lot cheaper to build as well as to man.”
Average attendance at the Martin swimming pool has decreased despite the summer heat. In June 09, the swimming pool was averaging about 116 daily while this year the average was around 68. In July 09, the city averaged 85 while this year they averaged about 46. These numbers – presented by Moore during the meeting – are accredited to increasing attendance at the UTM’s swimming pool.
Moore also pointed out that the city’s swimming pool is nearly 40 years old. The splash pad could serve as a cheaper alternative for the city.
“[Having a splash pad] won’t take away from the festival,” Moore said. “The downtown businesses are backing it too because we’re hoping to add some foot traffic downtown.”
The presentation on the resolution for the splash pad was uncontested, and will be further reviewed at an upcoming city council meeting.
Other new businesses at the informal meeting included an ordinance to adopt the International Building Code and establishing permit fees related to the codes. All business at the meeting went uncontested by city aldermen.
More information on the splash pad – as well as renovations on the old city hall – will be provided as the story develops.