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Water Returns to Fresno Splash Pads, For Now



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The sounds of summer finally returned to two broken splash pads in Fresno.
Kids giggled and screamed as a giant bucket dumped cool, refreshing water on them. Water cannons quelled the heat as the temperature climbed into the high 90s.
Despite signs nearby that said it was closed, the splash pad was working at Inspiration Park in west Fresno.
Carol Spencer lives in the neighborhood and took her younger cousin to the park. She said the water returned Saturday. It had been off for at least three weeks.
“I didn’t like it,” Spencer said of the splash pad’s closure. “I think the city should have fixed it a little quicker because there are so many little kids out here and it’s really hot.”
However, there is some confusion at City Hall about whether the past few days reflect a permanent fix or just a test of the system.

Temporary or Permanent Fix?

Inspiration Park is located in councilwoman Esmeralda Soria’s district. She sent an email Monday to Mayor Lee Brand that asked for an update about the splash pad.
T.J. Miller, the city’s interim parks director, wrote back Tuesday.
“Regarding Inspiration splash pad, it’s still in the monitoring mode, the water should be flowing and kids can use it, our technicians are watching to make sure it doesn’t shut off,” Miller wrote in an email.
The ongoing problem has frustrated Soria’s office.
“There is a communication issue between our office and city administration,” said Terry Cox, Soria’s chief of staff.

Trash Clogs Splash Pad at Dickey

Meanwhile, city crews worked Monday to fix the broken splash pad at Dickey Playground downtown.
It had been down for at least a week, according the parks department’s Twitter account. City spokesman Mark Standriff blamed a broken pump.

“It messes it up for the rest of the neighborhood.”Robert, a neighbor of Dickey Playground
As the water sprayed out of the ground, a maintenance worker pointed out another problem — people putting trash into the drain grates. The trash then was sucked into the pumps, causing the stoppage.
“It messes it up for the rest of the neighborhood,” said Robert, who says he likes to take his 9-year old son to Dickey. Robert, who asked that his last name not be used, showed a photo on his phone of children sitting in the grates to cool off.
Not even screws seemed to prevent the grates from opening, the city worker said. Thieves have stolen the screws because they’re made of brass.

Fresno High Pool Closed for a Week

Splash pads at Figarden Loop Park, Todd Beamer Park and the Mosqueda Center have been down at one time or another in the last month.

Problems also plagued the Fresno High School pool, another place set up for the public to beat the heat. The pool reopened Tuesday after being closed since June 17. School district officials said a chlorination system was to blame.
The city and Fresno Unified School District are in the third year of a “blue space” program in which the district opens its water facilities to the public.

Arias Wants Splash Pads Fixed More Quickly

Miguel Arias, who represents the downtown district where Dickey is located, has heard several complaints from residents about the splash pad’s closure.
“My expectation, which I realize may not be the city’s ability, is that it should be fixed in 24 hours,” Arias said when the park was still inoperable. “I don’t know why it’s so difficult to have replacement parts in stock.”
In the 2020 city budget to be voted Thursday, the parks department will see a slight increase to its $31.7 million budget.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email