Pequot Lakes: Splash pad gets council’s blessing, but with no levied funds
Resident-led fundraising effort to get underway
Five years after receiving an anonymous donation to build a splash pad in Trailside Park, the Pequot Lakes City Council gave the project the go-ahead with one caveat - the amenity is to be built without using any city levied property tax funds.
Council member Scott Pederson’s idea to construct a splash pad in spring 2022 with non-levied funds won approval on a 4-0 vote at the regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 2. Council member Cheri Seils was absent.
“We have people interested in fundraising. We have approximately $70,000 left over from a major donation,” Pederson said, adding city park dedication fees are another possible funding source.
Pederson said the 2022 timeline can be extended if volunteers need more time to raise funds. Or if fundraising efforts fail, the splash pad wouldn’t be built because city property taxes will not be used to fund it.
A visibly relieved and passionate Jenni Gonczy told the council she is more than ready to begin the fundraising effort with help from Community Action of Pequot Lakes, which has the needed nonprofit status.
In 2016, the city received anonymous donations of $100,000 toward a splash pad and $150,000 toward a flag display. The flags were eventually erected along Main Street. Some splash pad funds were used for a study, with $69,413 remaining.
The park commission has done a lot of splash pad research over those years. It has been an issue of concern for some people, and candidates for the council in 2020 were asked their thoughts about a splash pad at a candidate forum.
Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.