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Splash park OKd
Likely ready by Memorial Day
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Come spring, kids of all ages will be able to enjoy a new water feature at Rock Creek Park after commissioners last week approved a proposal by the local Rotary Club to donate a splash pad.

"I'm very excited that the commissioners saw the need for the splash pad. It represents the Rotary well and will serve the community, the children and the families for many, many years," said Vernon Smith, club president.

"We're excited to be able to bring it to the park."

With the Rotary Club's signature gold and blue emblem as its focal point, the splash pad would be near the toddler playground, at the front of the park, and surrounded by benches.

"We want people to see when they walk by that ‘Service Above Self,' Rotary's motto, is truly how the club feels," Smith said.

The 60-plus member club voted in July to proceed with the plan at an estimated cost of $36,000. The club also approved spending an additional $1,000 per year on upkeep and maintenance.

Though still in the initial planning stages, the 47-foot concrete splash pad would feature numerous sprinklers and zero depth. It would be operated by a push button, which would release the fountains in 10-minute increments.

In addition, the Etowah Water and Sewer Authority has agreed to donate up to $5,000 per year in water use for the splash pad, making the county's expense about $100 a year for electricity, according to Lisa Henson, director of Dawson County Parks and Recreation.

"I am excited our local community will enjoy the benefits of this cutting edge public-civic partnership," she said. "The Splash Pad at Rock Creek Park will be a great addition to the park and incorporate a highly sought after water feature for the community to enjoy."

"Dawson County Park and Recreation is grateful to our local Rotary Club for this grand investment in our children."

Smith said in addition to providing joy to children, he hopes the splash park will help boast the club's membership.

"There is a need for young adults to join our group. Young adults have children, and we felt the splash park would be a great magnet to reach young adults to get involved in the Rotary. It's a great organization," he said.

The plan is to have a grand celebration and open the splash pad for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.