MILTON — The Carpenter's Park splash pad, which was supposed to be completed near Memorial Day, has been delayed because of its potential impact to the Blackwater River.
At a special meeting Feb. 25, council voted to allow city staff to execute a contract to complete the splash pad.
At the March 12 meeting, however, Councilman George Jordan said he had "continuing concerns about going forward with the splash pad." He referenced an email sent to all council members stating that effluent discharged into the river could compromise future grants.
"If we start putting thousands of gallons of effluent from this splash pad in I can't imagine it is going to bode well for us," Jordan said.
Jordan said the new dechlorination chamber being built at the wastewater treatment plant is designed to treat drinking water and will not remove sediment or bacteria found in the splash pad run-off.
Councilwoman Sharon Holley, who did not attend the Feb. 25 meeting, said she had concerns about the contract and felt the issue needed more research.
"I follow my mother's old sentiment: 'Haste makes waste,'" she said. "Even if we can't do this by Memorial Day, why don't we do it right?"
Holley said even though the city only had one bidder, she felt the issue was too big to move ahead.
Councilwoman Heather Hathaway and Councilman Jeff Snow, both of whom favored for moving forward, said they believed city staff have answered all concerns and saw no reason to delay the contract.
"There's been a lot of work that's gone into the splash pad," Snow said. "We are under budget and our staff has done a great job in getting grants for it."
"I don't think we could legally move forward without staff making sure there would not be feces going into the Blackwater River," Hathaway said.
Mayor Heather Lindsay thanked city staff members for their work on the splash pad and asked City Manager Randy Jorgenson if he had any concerns about moving forward.
Jorgenson indicated he was not willing to execute the contract due to a technical issue involving the line that carries wastewater from the splash pad to the treatment center. Jorgenson said he would not sign off on the contract until he felt all questions and concerns were answered.
City staff has been tasked to do more research and bring findings back for further discussion.