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Buda green lights east side splash pad

Buda city leaders earmarked $360,000 in monies from Proposition 5 of the 2014 bond April 4 for creation of a proposed splash pad on the east side of Buda.

The move, which was approved by the Buda City Council by a unanimous vote, would create the splash pad in Green Meadows Park.

Buda Parks and Recreation Director Drew Wells said the splash pad was the “last component of the Prop 5 bond” to address.

Wells said members of the Parks and Recreation and Proposition 5 committees sought to use $360,000 of the $8 million in Proposition 5 toward a water feature at the park.

“It will be a different type of water feature than the one at City Park,” Wells said. “It will be more commercial looking with tipping buckets and the interactive water jets.”

Wells said staff had an issue with the operation and maintenance costs of this type of water feature, but the community’s desire for it outweighed financial concerns.

“It will require a higher level of maintenance than normal water features that we have,” Wells said. “However, it’s consistently been one of the top priorities of our citizens to have more water amenities.”

The proposed splash pad area would include more commercial hoses and games than those at Buda City Park. (courtesy rendering)

The overall scale of Proposition 5 park projects would require more staff to operate and maintain facilities, Wells said. At this time, Wells said he was unaware of the exact number of additional staff that will be needed.

Wells also said that with the project being last in line to receive bond money, Buda was working with “budget limitations.”

However, staff felt it was important to include a small restroom facility on site at the new splash pad as part of the project.

One possible savings on operation and maintenance costs, which appealed to council members, could be done by possibly partnering with the Green Meadows Home Owners Association on shared maintenance of the splash pad, Wells said.

Wells added water used in the water feature would be treated with chlorine initially, then put through an ultraviolet (UV) filter, before being used in the feature, and then re-circulated in the double treatment process prior to reuse.

Council member Eileen Altmiller stressed moving forward with the splash pad regardless of the maintenance costs due to the high resident demand for a splash pad over the last decade.

“I think it’s something the community really needs and has been waiting for,” Altmiller said.

“Especially on the East side,” Buda Mayor Todd Ruge added. “They’re really, truly lacking in amenities.”

Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Lane said he was delighted that the Green Meadows HOA was willing to share in the maintenance of the water feature. Lane hoped that a possible partnership could set a precedent for other parks built in other HOAs.

Council member Lee Urbanovsky raised concern over the maintenance of the large water feature that would total $13,353 annually.

“It’s a great idea, I love the concept,” Urbanovsky said. “It’s just the maintenance with a facility like this is still my biggest concern because I’ve done this before.”

Urbanovsky said in a later interview he was “encouraged” to approve the agenda item after learning the Green Meadows HOA was interested in sharing the maintenance responsibilities.

However, Urbanovsky still wants to make sure that residents understand the long-term operational costs involved.

Wells said the city’s water feature would also adhere to all restrictions applied by water suppliers.

“There are costs that come with passing the bond projects,” Altmiller said to Urbanovsky’s concerns.

Splashpad Life Cycle Costs – 20 Years

Splashpad Construction

  • Total Project Capital: $350,000

Estimated Annual Maintenance And Operating Costs

  • Incremental Water: $703
  • Sewer: $0
  • Maintenance: $1,650
  • Normal Parts: $3,000
  • Chemical: $4,000
  • Electrical: $4,000

Total Annual Operating Cost: $13,353

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