Splash Pad Proposal Gets Tentative Approval
The Rehabilitation Board of Appeals has tentatively approved a proposal to build a splash pad in Grant Park. A public hearing will be held next month to further discuss the proposal.
The Rehabilitation Board of Appeals set a tentative budget at City Hall Tuesday, including a provisional approval of Volunteer Royal Oak’s proposal for a water playground — or so-called splash pad — at Grant Park, during last night’s meeting.
A splash pad is an area for water play that has no standing water. Typically there are ground nozzles that spray water upwards out of the splash pad's rain deck. There may also be other water features such as a rainbow (semicircular pipe shower), a mushroom shower, or a tree shower as well as water canons, which allow users to spray others.
A public hearing will be held next month to further address any concerns citizens may have about the distribution of this year’s federal Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG). At that time, the board will vote to finalize the budget.
CDBG funds are provided through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which oversees such requests. Eligible activities include public improvements such as parks, streets, community centers, drainage structures, housing development, residential rehabilitation, economic development and public services which directly relate to housing or physical community revitalization.
Volunteer Royal Oak asked the board for $488,000 of the CDBG for the splash pad project. Jay Dunstan, a member of Volunteer Royal Oak, said that the quote was based on consultations with other cities that offer similar facilities and an estimate given for the specific space where the splash pad would be installed.
The board discussed several public improvement projects, each seeking a portion of the CDBG. The board unanimously agreed that the splash pad would be a great addition to the city, but they worked to ensure other projects were not sacrificed to cover the project’s cost.
“We really have to consider what is going to get us the most bang for our buck. This project would have a positive mental and economic impact on the city,” said City Commissioner Kyle Dubuc. “We have a lot of families in this area and we want to keep them here. Also, something like this would encourage new families to move to the city.”
Royal Oak resident Jennifer Acevedo attended the board meeting to express her approval for the splash pad proposal. As a mother, Acevedo said that it would be a great benefit to her family and other parents in the area.
“There is nothing like this in Royal Oak. I take my family to Warren to use their facility, but it would be nice if our city could offer a similar experience,” Acevedo said. “It would be great if the downtown businesses could see an economic benefit from this project.”
As the budget stands right now, the board will approve the amount asked for by Volunteer Royal Oak. If the board finalizes that decision next month, the proposal will go to the city commission for a vote.
“These guys had some tough decisions to make tonight,” Dunstan said. “Before the public hearing, we need to concentrate on getting the word out there about this project. Right now we have a lot of support. We need to make sure everyone is aware of what this project could do for the city.”