In a consensus agreement made Monday evening by members of the Seminole City Council, direction was given to City of Seminole officials to begin work on the development of a multi-year plan for improvements to the M.S. Doss City Park.
Monday's agreement, however, didn't come without a concern from one Seminole City Councilman, who asked fellow Council members and City leaders to further discuss and learn additional details about a proposed addition of an aquatic splashpad to the City maintained facility, which served as the launching pad for the quest of the park planning project.
Freddy Jones, representative of the Seminole City Council's District 1, Place 2 seat, stated in Monday's discussion over the park planning process that he had some concerns with the Council's recent discussion of adding a proposed aquatic splashpad facility to the facility, located on a two city block area in the 300 and 400 blocks of N.W. 5th St.
Jones, in his explanation, stated he had concerns of water usage of the proposed venture, especially during drought situations currently being experienced in West Texas.
"I've got a problem with the discussions we've been having about adding the splashpad in the park," said Jones in Monday's Council meeting. "I don't know if it's something we should be doing, since we are in the middle of a drought and at a time where we should be working on finding ways to save water."
Jones also added he had safety concerns associated with the proposed project if built.
"I've also got some concerns about who will be monitoring (the splashpad) and who will be responsible if someone falls and becomes seriously hurt," Jones added.
Place 3, District 1 Councilwoman Michel Powers, a staunch supporter of the proposed project, quickly defended the venture.
"I personally feel we have to look at this as providing a service to the kids and citizens of this community," said Powers on the addition of a proposed splashpad to the park, Seminole's busiest public used facility.
Back on Feb. 10, members of the Seminole City Council heard a presentation from a representative with Kraftsman Playground and Water Parks, who pitched a presentation over the company's aquatic park playground system line.
According to Kennedy, for an aquatic playground in the 4,000 sq ft range, a $625,000 price tag was quoted in the Feb. 10 presentation, of which $200,000 was devoted to the system's self-contained filtration system. That particular size playground, according to Kennedy, could easily hold "100-plus" children.
"There's no doubt this will bring added activity to your park and you'll see a lot of people come, not only from the local community, but from out of town as well," he said.
Seminole resident Danielle Sims, a Seminole ISD teacher, assistant swimming coach and a manager of the Seminole High School swimming pool during the summer months, told members of the Seminole City Council in the presentation that the addition of an aquatic playground would be an added benefit to the community.
"On any given day during the summer, we have anywhere from 300 to 400 children come to the (Seminole High School) pool," said Sims, who added that while attending college at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, she was employed with the City of Amarillo's parks department at the time nine "splash pads" were installed within that community.
"I am excited to see (the Seminole City Council) taking a look at this and I think it would be great if you could help provide something like this for our community."
According to the company's website, Kraftsman Playground and Water Parks is a Spring-based company specializing recreational play areas since 1981.
The company takes part in the planning, design and installation of new ventures, as well as inspections, upgrades and maintenance of commercial playgrounds and water park equipment.
Some other products installed by the company include safety surfacing, shade covers, and skate parks, to name a few.
Seminole City Administrator, Tommy Phillips, said Monday evening's request to Council members on the development of a multi-year plan of action for the M.S. Doss City Park will also include Jones' request to seek additional information related to water usage for a proposed splashpad, as well as how other communities with similar facilities handle safety issues for such facilities within their respective communities.
Phillips added the development of the multi-year plan, which will be sought from an outside planning/architecture group, will also assist City of Seminole officials in developing a better redesign, plan of action and budgeting goal for any proposed additions or renovations Council members wish to seek for the M.S. Doss City Park.
Other Council Items Monday
Also in Monday evening's meeting, members of the Seminole City Council approved the following business items items:
• approval of drainage improvements at S.W. 21st St. and S.W. Ave. F; and S.W. 23rd St. and S.W. Ave. E, and;
• approval of Martin Addition Plat.
During his administrative report, Phillips gave an update on the following agenda items:
• Blaus Wasser water project;
• safety signal lights, and;
• sales tax allocation report from the Texas Comptroller's Office.