Lisbon dives into splash pad project

LISBON — The splash pad project will become a reality this year, thanks to the generosity of a village couple.

Village officials reported at this week’s council meeting that Gary and Donna Ward donated $15,000 toward the project, which represents the final piece of funding needed to replace the baby pool at the community pool with a splash pad, which is a series of fountains and buckets that dump water on youths.

The splash pad costs $23,000, and parks Manager Dana Blackburn raised $8,500 in donations to date but told council two weeks ago she was running out of time to come up with the rest in order to make it happen this year, noting the splash pad has to be ordered six weeks in advance.

Village Fiscal Officer/Council Clerk Tracey Wonner reported the Wards brought a check over for $15,000 last week, which Blackburn said was unsolicited

“I didn’t do anything. They called me,” she said.

With the full $23,000 now in hand, council authorized Blackburn to order the splash pad from LAG Pools in Darlington, Pa. As for any additional expenses, Gary Dailey Excavating has offered to remove the pool for free, while the Estherlee Fence Co. of North Lima will relocate and reinstall the fence, also at no cost to the village.

Blackburn said the village will have to purchase some concrete, but D.W. Dickey & Sons is giving them a discount, and the finishing work will be done for free by Sam Carpenter and Cody Dailey.

“What the Wards gave us is the most unselfish gift you could get from someone in the community. Because of their donation there are going to be a lot of happy kids in town,” she said.

Blackburn expects the splash pad to be completed by May 15 and ready when the community pool opens Memorial Day weekend.

Before the check arrived, Wonner said she would get with Aspen Energy about the $15,000 grant it was going to provide the village for participating in the gas and electricity discount program offered through the company. Wonner was to inquire whether the village could take possession of the money now to pay for the splash pad, but she was told the earliest the funding could be available is sometime this summer.

In other action, council gave Vine Street resident Peter Wilson permission to resurrect the community garden that once occupied vacant village property at the corner of Mill and Caldwell streets. A community garden is just that — a plot of land where anyone from the community is free to plant and maintain a garden for their own use. Wilson is also a member of the board of zoning appeals.