Splash pad issues still making waves

More work needs to be done to get splash pad up and running for next summer.

Traverse City's manager gave an update on the clinch park project, dwelling mostly on the splash pad and its troubled start. On June 30, sewage contamination closed the structure. The park was reopened just before Labor Day, but more changes are in order.

â??The issue as a whole isnâ??t just going to go away,â?? said Jered Ottenwess, Traverse City manager. â??Thereâ??s still a lot of work that the city will undertake at the park to resolve outstanding items there.â??

At Monday nightâ??s city commission meeting, Ottenwess discussed the Clinch Park project and its status.

There are still adjustments that need to be made to the water feature. For now, city officials say they are winterizing the structure.

With all of the changes taking place, the park could require employing a full-time city staff member to take care of things like checking chlorination levels. City leaders will need to discuss that issue further before a decision is made.

The city is still withholding a portion of payment to architect Hamilton Anderson Associates for not doing all that was agreed they would do when it came to the splash pad's design.

â??When we feel that there are significant design errors with the project, we need to do what we can do to hold those parties responsible and make sure those issues are resolved,â?? said Ottenwess.

The city manager said he wants to resolve the issues with Hamilton Anderson without resorting to legal action, but confessed the option is on the table.

In his report, Ottenwess said that, at the structure, there was no risk of electrocution at any time, and the sewage contamination was confined to a 15 minute window impacting four to five people.

Construction could go into the 2014 summer season. The city plans on having the splash pad up and running as soon as safely possible.