By Joseph Hamrick
COMMERCE—The Commerce City Council announced last week that the city pool on Park Street will be closed permanently after it was shut down last summer when a pump malfunctioned.
After doing estimates, the city found out that the parts are no longer made for the pool and that repair costs would exceed the $10,000 mark.
Dr. LaVelle Hendricks, student affairs coordinator for Texas A&M University-Commerce, said he had an idea on how to keep the city park filled with children during the summer.
“I know people who want to give monetarily to develop a water fountain,” he said. “We want to ensure that our kids will have water activities for them to play in. The focus of what we are trying to do is to provide a safe and wholesome place to enjoy the hot summer.”
The proposed water fountain would be similar to a water fountain located in downtown Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County.
City Manager Marc Clayton said the average cost per year for the pool’s maintenance and water was $60,000 per year. He said since the maintenance costs on water fountains are low, if enough citizens can invest, the city would be able to build and maintain one. The cost for a spray park Clayton said would be in the $250,000 to $350,000 range.
“Quite honestly, this seems doable to me,” Clayton said. “We could have a waterpark in Commerce.”
The proposed location would be where the current pool sits. According to Clayton, he will meet with an engineering firm to find the best place for a water fountain in city park.
Many cities are moving from having pools to having water activity areas. Jackie Morriss, a Commerce resident, said the project would be beneficial to Commerce.
“This will be very very good,” she said. “Parents would be able to take their children and enjoy. A spray park would be wonderful for Commerce.”
A proposal to approve to construct a water fountain is expected to be discussed in either the February or March City Council meeting.
If accepted, Clayton said the fountain should be open by the summer of 2014.