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Funding for water attraction doesn't make a splash with supporters

Aug. 3, 2011

Supporters were disappointed that the $62,000 in hoped-for funding for a splashpad at Malone Park was cut in half last night.

The New Berlin Common Council slashed the proposed funding to design the splashpad, a flat water pad where colorful fixtures squirt water and pour water down in sheets onto children.

While aldermen whole-heartedly supported the idea, they said the city budget will be stretched to the max for at least the next two years to complete badly needed road projects. But not wanting to close out supporters entirely, they offered to fund design work short of creating engineering documents, which might become outdated anyway by the time the city could approve its construction.

For now, city officials have only a ballpark figure of construction costs: $350,000 to $400,000.

Representatives of the New Berlin Junior Woman's Club, which has raised about $63,000 so far for splashpad construction, had hoped the city would approve the $62,000 in public funding to let design plans take shape. They said they hope the project delay doesn't cause their fundraising momentum to falter, though they pledged to keep at it.

Aldermen said the council may have inadvertently led the group on by setting aside $75,000 last year for splashpad design. That money was not spent. But aldermen were interested in learning more about the project feasibility, including the cost.

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