City takes plunge on splash pad

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The City of Kilgore’s ready to go with the flow.

Mayor Ronnie Spradlin issued a challenge to the community late last summer: in honor of his parents, he’d put up $200,000 for a splash pad park if Kilgore could come up with the other half of a $400,000 pricetag.

“Today we’ve had commitments and total funds received of around $82,000” Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck told council members last week. It’s well-shy of the goal, but “At this point the mayor has let us know that while we may not get the entire rest of the other $200,000, that he would honor the commitment and at least allow for the construction of the splash pad itself.”

It means the project in memory of Sonny and Betty Spradlin can get rolling now and, fingers-crossed, the new amenity at Kilgore City Park could be ready by summer rather than putting it off while fundraising continues beyond the best splash pad weather.

After conferring with other communities that maintain splash pads, the consensus is the city should start work as soon as possible – pads whose construction begins in late-spring often don’t open until late-fall. To that end, early this month Kilgore City Hall sent out six informal proposals for the project.

“There are really just a handful of companies that build and install these things,” Selleck noted. “At this point, since we don’t have enough money to build the entire park, we would just commit to the splash pad itself.

“We still need those fundraising dollars to come in. We’re still looking for sponsors for a number of the amenities out there.”

Ideally, he said, city staffers will present an agreement for council members’ consideration at their next regularly-scheduled meeting.

To learn more about how to contribute to the splash pad project, log on to CityofKilgore.com or call 903-984-5081.

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