LAYTON -- City officials hope to have a new splash pad in place by next summer, although a specific location for the attraction remains an ongoing discussion.
Members of the city council wrestled with outlines to place the water feature at two different locations during a recent work session. At the moment it appears council members are leaning toward putting the attraction in Layton Commons, near Surf-n-Swim, but there is still some sentiment to put the feature at Ellison Park, near some outdoor athletic facilities.
Mayor Steve Curtis asked that the council discuss the location issue for a second time during a recent work session, after meeting with members of the Recreation Commission, who pointed out some potential problems with putting the facility near ball fields at Ellison Park.
Curtis said he favored putting the pad in Ellison Park before hearing about potential safety issues related to having kids in a water facility near ball fields, where foul balls would have to be addressed, as well as potential traffic from a nearby skateboard park.
Dave Price, director of Parks and Recreation, hopes to get some specific direction before initiating a request for proposal for construction of the facility. He said it makes sense to put the splash pad near existing restroom facilities on city property, as it is required that restrooms be within 150 feet of the water feature. He said straying from areas with existing facilities will only add costs to the project.
Plans at Ellison Park involve possibly putting the water feature on either the east or west side. A west-side facility would potentially result in the loss of one football field, said Price, who added there is a premium on football and soccer fields.
The west-side location would be on land just to the west of an existing softball field, bordered by tennis courts. Price noted that Ellison Park does have a garage storage facility, which would make it easier to store equipment for the pad.
Price initially recommended Layton Commons for the splash pad and said it still makes sense. He said city leaders could make either location work.
City Manager Alex Jensen thinks the location can be critical for young parents or grandparents who bring kids to the water feature.
He said Ellison is an athletic facility while Layton Commons is more family-friendly.
"I think there would be more difference than what we imagine ... one is docile and a friendly environment, and the other is an athletic park," Jensen said.
Councilman Joyce Brown hopes plans for the facility will move forward in a timely fashion, so the splash pad can be open for use by next summer.