Source: Sherman Publications

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Splash pad now costs Oxford kids $1 per visit

by CJ Carnacchio

May 29, 2013

Local kids who wish to beat the summer heat by getting wet at the KLR Splash Pad in Seymour Lake Township Park will need a portrait of George Washington to do so.

It now costs Oxford youngsters $1 each per visit to frolic in the splash pad's icy cold waters. There used to be no charge for children who are residents.

Parks Director Ron Davis indicated the new fee will help offset rising operational costs for things such as electricity, staffing and general maintenance of the well pump.

"Originally, we didn't really take all that into account when we put it in," he said. "We wanted to continue to provide a safe atmosphere (for the kids), so it was either eliminate staff and not charge (an access fee) or try to recoup some (of the expenses) and keep it cost-effective for our residents."

The department will continue to keep two seasonal staff members on duty at the splash pad, which opened in 2009, at all times. There's one who mans the admission booth and one who operates the concession stand.

Davis said there was some thought given to the idea of cutting the staffing level in half, but that could impact the safety of the kids and security of the facility.

"What do you do if the (staff member) has to go to the restroom or if there's an emergency? Do you really feel comfortable leaving a 14-year-old kid out there by themselves?"

Davis noted that originally, it was thought concession stand sales would be "better than they are" and help offset operational costs.

"But it really doesn't generate enough money to pay off some of those expenses," he explained.

Non-resident children will continue to be charged a $4 access fee.

"I think last year, we had like 1,500 non-resident kids go though there," Davis said.

There will continue to be no charge for adults, both residents and non-residents alike, Davis noted.

He added the department is currently working on the idea of issuing seasonal passes for both resident and non-resident children.

"We've just got to come up with the price," Davis said. "It will be beneficial to our residents more so than non-residents."