City splash pad plans move forward

By Jennifer Woods -

After several years of going without a pool, the City of Washington Court House is getting closer to obtaining a community splash pad.

At the Washington Court House City Council meeting Wednesday night, the resolution that would authorize Washington Court House City Manager Joe Denen to award a contract to Vortex USA in order to purchase the splash pad passed its first reading. For resolutions to become law, they must pass through three readings.

The current proposal for the splash pad would have it it located off Eyman Park Drive where the old pool used to be—Denen explained it is planned to be in front of the small shelter house. A splash pad is a recreation area for water play that has little or no standing water.

City council member Jim Chrisman asked if there were any comments regarding the splash pad and when no one spoke, he asked, “All these years talking about a splash pad and nobody wants to talk about it?”

As the room laughed, city council Member Kendra Hernandez said, “I’m excited. It’s walking distance from my house—I’m very excited!”

“I was one of the ones that wanted a splash pad—I think a splash pad is really an affordable alternative to a pool,” said city council member Ted Hawk. “The pool had become such a money pit and some people disagreed with us starting out but, I’m glad we are finally doing something. I think it’s a great thing.”

Other positive comments made during the meeting involved public thank yous to different individuals and organizations.

Council member Steve Shiltz thanked local resident Steven Armstrong for creating “Flags over Fayette” and his volunteers for making it possible. Shiltz said, “It gives the community a sense of pride and unity.”

According to Shiltz, Denen agreed to leave the American flags that are placed downtown in place through the Fourth of July.

Hawk spoke of the local Memorial Day services and how they meant a great deal to his son—especially hearing Taps being played during the ceremonies.

A public thank you to the Fayette County Commissioners and Sheriff Vernon Stanforth for inviting the council to the groundbreaking for the new Fayette County Jail was also given—which will be held on Monday, June 24 at 11 a.m. at 1500 Robinson Road in Washington Court House.

Although other topics were brought up, one of the most active conversations involved an issue brought forth by local Dylan Page, a junior at Ohio State University, who graduated top-of-his-class from Miami Trace Local Schools. He introduced a proposal of charter amendments that would alter the way the government of Washington Court House is operated.

Essentially, the amendments would enact an elected city mayor instead of a contracted city manager and enact terms for both the mayor and for the city council members.

The amendments would also change the ability for all seven council members to be elected from any part of the city to members needing to be elected from specific sections (wards) of the city. Four council members would come from four different wards in the city while three council members would be at large (from anywhere within the city).

This proposal was met with both opposition and agreement. According to Page, there is a petition currently being signed by community members with over 100 signatures.

There will be more on this topic in the Record-Herald on Friday, June 14.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.

By Jennifer Woods