Spray park a step closer to reality

The cost of the project is expected to be around $400,000, of which the Rotary Club has already raised over 80 per cent.

Artist's rendering of a spray park.

The Rotary Spray Park in City Park is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Rotarians Lynne Burch and Maxine Ruzicka gave an update to the Spray Park project to Grand Forks City Council at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on March 9.

The cost of the project is expected to be around $400,000, of which the Rotary Club has already raised over 80 per cent.

The City of Grand Forks had come aboard previously as a partner with the spray park project and is providing the land in City Park where the facility will be built.

“In July of last year, many of you will remember that members of council and Rotarians were on hand to turn the sod and erect the sign signaling to the public that a future spray park would be constructed on the site,” said Ruzicka to council. “We very much appreciate the city’s public support of this project and, indeed, the individual support of all councillors and city staff.”

Other major partners with the Rotary Club on the project include the Phoenix Foundation, Boundary and Family Individual Services Society (BFISS), Community Futures Boundary, Grand Forks Volunteer Firefighters Association, and the Grand Forks Credit Union.

“We have broad community support for the installation of the spray park in Grand Forks,” said Ruzicka. “Community organizations, businesses and individuals have indicated their support for this with in-kind donations and/or cash donations.”

Burch, the chair of the spray park committee, told council and staff that the idea for the park came from a group of young parents in the community who approached the Rotary Club.

“In researching this project, the club found that many communities our size have these kinds of spray parks and many were spearheaded by Rotary clubs,” said Burch. “Your city staff will tell you that the project fits with the city’s sustainable community plan. As it is a facility for children it may encourage families with young children to take a second look at Grand Forks.”

Burch also added that the spray park would be barrier-free, open to all children from disabled to low-income as there are no user fees.

“It promotes healthy play for children and it is designed with water to be retained and reused,” she said.

Generated revenue:

City of Grand Forks $200,000; Area C director McGregor $1,500 in kind; Phoenix Foundation $23,231; Community Futures $10,000; GF Volunteer Firefighters Association $4,000; and BFISS $1,800. Total community revenue = $240,531.

Generated revenue (Rotary Club:

Lobster Fest (2014) proceeds $30,000; miscellaneous donations $1,946.50; sale of cubic metres of concrete at spray park – $2,250 (X9); club fundraising (eg. kettle corn, scotch tasting) $2,212.50. Total Cast raised: $36,409.

Anticipated revenue:

Grand Forks Credit Union $28,000; remainder of concrete $7,750; Lobster Fest 2015 – $25,000. Total anticipated revenue: $60,750.

Total donate-able items secured = $38,000 including $35,000 from Urban Systems Ltd.

Total cash, in-kind and anticipated revenue to date: $375,690.

Ruzicka and Burch asked council to confirm their original financial commitment of $200,000 in the 2015 financial plan and give early budget approval to allow city staff to initiate the pre-construction steps.

“If we’re going to get this project completed in 2015 we need to take action now,” said Burch.

The motion also asked council to wave the city’s purchasing policy to allow sole sourcing of equipment to RecTek Industries (Surrey), and to allow the sole sourcing of constructing to local contractor Argosy, due to both of their unique contributions to the project.

The Rotary proposal was moved to the regular council meeting in the evening on March 9 where it was carried.

“We’re very pleased, very, very pleased with the outcome,” said Burch to the Gazette. “This is truly a community program. The children’s spray park will become an asset for the City of Grand Forks. It has economic value as well believe it will attract people to spend more time in the community.”

To help make the spray park a reality and get the project going, the rotary club is appealing to residents to pitch in.

“We are almost there but we need the community’s help to generate the remaining funding,” said Rotarian and spray park committee member James Wilson. “We are thankful that we live in a very vibrant and generous community. To date we have had over 225 individuals, and many agencies, service clubs and businesses that have contributed either cash or in-kind services to the project. The spray park is valued at $400,000 and we have yet to generate all of the required funds.”

Residents can help out by donating cash or items to the club. Needed items and services include: two pump truck rentals; concrete placer for flat pours; concrete flatwork forming; steel construction fencing; and 20-foot lockable container on-site for up to three months.

The club is also looking at donations towards the purchase of a particular piece of spray park equipment:

Water tower, $15,000; Fun-guy, $6,500; Corronade (water cannons, three required), $5,700; Group volcano, $5,650; Solis, $4,975; Action plate, $1,800; and Kompan waterfall, $12,500.

Residents can also purchase a cubic meter of concrete at $250 per (nine have already been sold).

If you can help please contact any member of the Grand Forks Rotary Club, or call Lynne Burch at 250-442-8657.