Tahlequah Daily Press

September 18, 2013

Splash pad to take shape

City officials seeking input from local residents

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — City leaders are taking final input on a splash-pad concept that should begin to take shape in the coming months.

Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols said city residents can look over the original rendering of the splash pad and suggest other features they might have seen at other water pads.

“This is an informal process,” said Nichols. “But if they’ve seen something on another splash pad, or saw a picture of one, they can email me a picture of what they’ve seen. Tell us, and we’ll do our best to include it.”

There are, of course, some limitations – both budgetary and technical constraints.

“We need to have any other suggestions or requests in the next 30 days, maybe even sooner,” said Nichols.

“We’ll start finalizing the design shortly thereafter. We’re hoping the splash pad will open in April or May.”

Tahlequah’s Leadership Class 14 donated proceeds from an annual business expo to help construct the park at the corner of Water and Downing, the former site of a car wash. City officials are leasing the land from the Cherokee Nation at a minimal yearly charge.

“We’ve had requests for years to build something like this,” said Nichols.

“They are extremely popular, but they had always been out of our price range.”

Along with the Leadership Class 14 donation, Nichols said the existing infrastructure of the former car wash will also benefit the city during construction.

Once the facility is complete, the city will not charge for its use.

Nichols said the splash pad will be an “open-access” park.

“Just hop out and have fun,” he said.

Suggestions for the splash pad can be emailed to mayor@cityoftahlequah.com, or left on the mayor’s “City of Tahlequah - Mayor” Facebook page.

-- jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com