Splash Pad

The splash pad is planned to be open Memorial Day through Labor Day annually once it’s built.

Courtesy City of Kuna

KUNA — The splash pad is tentatively set to open Memorial Day next year.

Yes, you read that correctly.

“It is coming,” said Parks Director Bobby Withrow.

Withrow and his team have already started preparing the utilities and foundation for the site. The splash pad will be located on the Greenbelt behind the Kuna Visitor’s Center and the baseball fields.

The splash pad will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act by having space for children to run or wheel through. Water will come from spraying leaves, a giant frog and a large bucket that will dump water on those below.

The total project is expected to cost around $240,000. The city provided $160,000 and a donor provided $79,000. Kuna mayor Joe Stear said a lot of that $160,000 came from one-time park impact fees collected from new development.

Withrow said he expects to use all of the $240,000 on the splash pad, and he may ask the city council for more money.

YEARS IN THE MAKING

Last December, the city put out a survey seeking feedback on three locations for a splash pad: Bernie Fisher Park, The Farm, which is a park near Deer Flat Road, and the Greenbelt location near Linder Avenue and Swan Falls Road. Withrow said the survey responses resulted in a three-way tie, each location receiving 33.3 percent vote.

Withrow presented this information and a PowerPoint to the city council around March last year. The PowerPoint detailed the cost differences and other pros and cons of each location.

Withrow recommended building at Bernie Fisher Park because it was the “most economical and advantageous” location.

After a vote, the city council approved the Greenbelt location.

“Council had concerns that it would be too large for Bernie Fisher Park and take away from its usefulness for other family activities,” Stear wrote in an email. “Councilmember Cardoza had expressed an interest in helping to draw people to our beautiful Greenbelt with this attraction.” 

The plan was to have the splash pad open by summer 2017.

The reason for the opening delay is because of permitting from the Department of Environmental Quality. Withrow wants to have the splash pad water come from a drinking water supply. Once the water is used on the splash pad, Withrow plans to have it reused for irrigation water.

If approved, the permit authorizes the water from the splash pad to be filtered through a sand tank, then disinfected with UV light, finally used to irrigate 18 acres of grass at the park, ball fields and greenbelt during the growing season.

The Department of Environmental Quality has to approve that. It is seeking comment from Kuna residents now until 5 p.m. Dec. 1, according to a Department of Environmental Quality press release.

Residents can submit comments via the department’s website: http://www.deq.idaho.gov/news-archives/water-kuna-park-water-reuse-permit-comment-1100117/ or email comments to valerie.greear@dep.idaho.gov. Comments can also be mailed to:

Valeria A Greear, P.E.

DEQ Boise Regional Office

1445 N. Orchard Street

Boise, ID 83706

Withrow and his team started on the splash pad with the hope that the Department of Environmental Quality will approve their desired water use plan. If not, Withrow will have to find an alternative way to dispose of the water.

In the meantime, the Parks Department has dug space for tanks. The department will do as much work as possible on the splash pad location before winter hits. Then, around March, Withrow hopes to resume the project.

The community will not have to pay to use the splash pad. It would be open Memorial Day to Labor Day.

“It’s been a fun little project,” Withrow said. “I hope there will be more projects like this moving forward.”

Alx Stevens is the reporter for Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 208-922-3008 or editor@kunamelba.com.

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