From Staff Reports
The Athens Review
The Splash Pad at Kiwanis Park will get a 1-day grand opening to whet the appetite of the community on Thursday.
The Athens City Council met on Aug. 12 and voted 4-1 to allow the pad to open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 22 despite ongoing Stage 1 water restrictions. Councilman Monte Montgomery opposed the opening.
On July 8, the City of Athens enacted Stage I of its Drought Contingency Plan calling for a voluntary 10-percent decrease in water usage. Kiwanis officials stated from the beginning of the Splash Pad project that they would limit or turn off the attraction in times of water conservation.
At maximum capacity, the Splash Pad will use 36,000 gallons of water per day. In addition, the Kiwanis organization can place a timer on the system and only operate it during set times of the day.
Speaking on behalf of the Athens Leadership Institute, the Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club at the Aug. 12 Athens City Council meeting, Kiwanis President Adam Davis asked that the Splash Pad be allowed to open during the final week before the opening of Athens schools.
Council Member Aubrey Jones made the motion at that meeting in favor of the one-day opening. Jones said he appreciates that the organizations that spearheaded the effort to build the Splash Pad to understand the position the city is in concerning water.
“We thank you all for being behind us. We appreciate your support,” Davis said. “Thank you for letting us have a grand opening. I know a lot of kids ought to be glad.”
Several local organizations have pledged money and labor to the Splash Pad project. In the heat of July 31, even the Trinity Valley Community College football team went to the Splash Pad construction site to help with planting grass around the site.