Fulton Officials Plan for City’s First Splash Park

FULTON, NY – With summer weather on the horizon, city officials continue working on plans to construct Fulton’s first splash park.

A splash park, a fenced concrete pad with sprinkler systems, is a more cost efficient and inclusive summer entertainment activity for the youth, Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward said.

City officials budgeted $45,000 to construct the splash park for the summer of 2018 after the idea was voiced by council president representing the Third Ward, Donald Patrick Jr.

“We just want something for the kids. We have young people moving into our city because we have affordable housing. They look at everything- they look at the school system, we have a top notch school system, we have all the amenities as far as fire, police, snow removal, garbage pick up, those are all big things for people. Then they’re going to look at parks and recreation. We have a lot of parks and a lot of youth programs for kids in Fulton, and that’s a big draw for people with young kids. We want those people to settle here. This will add to that appeal, recreation for the kids in the summer,” Patrick said.

After much research, the city’s first splash park will be modeled after one from the neighboring city of Oswego.

Woodward and Patrick spoke with the city of Oswego DPW commissioner to discuss construction plans and details.

Using city employees, they discovered the splash park can be constructed on their own for $45,000. The splash park will need approval by the Oswego County Health Department so Fulton is replicating already approved plans sent from Oswego.

The splash park will measure as a 40 foot by 40 foot fenced concrete pad with a copper tubing sprinkler system and the possibility of an animal sprinkler structure, the options will remain open depending on the budget throughout construction.

Benches will surround the fenced area for parents to supervise and the splash park will be usable from 10 a.m – 8 p.m.

Running on city water, city officials have prioritized the use of a sensor to activate the water. The sensor will only turn on the sprinklers when activated by activity in the splash park.

Just as all city buildings and the city’s former pools, water usage will be metered at the splash park and budgeted, not to cost taxpayers any increase in water bills, Woodward said.

Patrick plans to construct the first splash park at Recreation Park on William Gillard Drive. The location will highlight the area that Patrick referred to as the city’s “recreation hub” given the many surrounding recreational opportunities.

The splash park will be located within Recreation Park complete with a playground, exercise equipment station and pavilion, and in close proximity to the city softball and football fields, skating rink, War Memorial, walking trail, incoming teen park, and Lake Neatahwanta featuring a handicap accessible kayak launch.

While splash parks do not require lifeguards or paid supervision of any kind, the Recreation Department housed at the nearby War Memorial will be available regularly, Woodward said.

Eventually, Patrick is hopeful to implement a splash park on the east side of the city as well.

The city previously owned and operated two public pools, one on each side of the river. However, due to lessening usage from the community and increasing cost to maintain each pool, they both have since been closed.

“We can’t afford (the cost) of a pool on each city of the river,” Mayor Woodward said. “The pools were so old and outdated, we were looking at several hundred thousand dollars just to do repairs. It’s a huge investment.”

In recent years, he continued, more city homes have put in private pools. At the time of closing, the west side pool served only 11 people a day at a cost of $54,000 annually to staff the pool, chlorinate it, add water, and maintain it through several repairs.

“There is always a liability issue with a pool, that’s why we had trained staff to pay but for affordability reasons for the city, that’s not an option now. We can’t have a pool but it is an intrical part of recreational services in a community and for that, a splash park is the next best thing. There seem to be more and more popping up in other communities. It’s a nice, affordable way to let kids have fun and cool off in the summer,” said Parks and Recreation Superintendent Barry Ostrander.

For those who may want to learn how to swim in a pool, Patrick recommends utilizing other community resources such as the Fulton YMCA and Granby Elementary School, both with indoor pools accessible to the public.

Additionally, all Fulton City School District fourth graders take swim lessons as part of school curriculum, he added.

“A pool just isn’t for everybody,” Patrick said. A splash park is a more inclusive option as it can accommodate all age ranges including those who are not able to swim and are entirely handicapped accessible.

With no associated cost for lifeguards, chlorine, or maintenance, the splash park is more financially lenient as well.

The current goal is to have the splash park constructed and ready for use by summer, Woodward said.

“Splash parks are an up and coming thing for cities,” Patrick said. “This is something we can afford to give to the kids.”

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  1. Kids in fulton need mote than a 3mo entertainment center. People ate lewbing Fulton,”the smart ones”there isn’t affordable housing.the people moviny there do so because of social services. Benefits are much easier to get in oswego co.only people moving there ate poor looking for the benefits.the drugs run the city.i left Ny because of non economical housing.love Fulton but with the drugs and expensive rrnt and utilities i cant afford it

  2. I think they need to focus more on the Roads which are like a title fight with Mike Tyson and they also need to keep cleaning the lake. Start by opening the natural springs that clean it and you might have the answer. the up keep of the amenitys over by the lake is essential. Cleaning up and adding Businesses by Walmart and Aldi’s will contribute to the city’s growth. A new mayor may be in order I would love to see somene that loves the city gain its control and inact some movements to get things done. Maybe the police chief would be an option he is a good man.

  3. I have been in Fulton since 1973 and I am shocked and yes, disgusted, at what has become of this city … I know the taxes here are unbelievable so I have never attempted to purchase property or a home …

    I would like to throw this idea out there … How about using the area by the tennis courts for the splash pad? … plenty of empty area, swings, the tennis court, etc … plus no stepping in goose poop :) …
    The lake, without a doubt, should have been priority YEARS ago …
    I spent many, many great times at Stevenson Beach as a kid and I dislike the fact that there is no longer a usable beach but also a lake that can no longer be used for hours of swimming …

    We need “fresh eyes” to look at this city and have the vision and the conviction to get this city back into the City with a Future mentality …

  4. The three people commenting above are a part of the problem. If you don’t like how money is being allocated or how the city is being ran, then change it. Attend meetings. Get involved in cleaning parks and other local establishments. I think it is a great step in the right direction all while keeping cost effectiveness in mind. FULTON is starting to change. A sense of community is coming back I grew up in Fulton and now reside in Oswego. What I would t give for my son to attend the FCSD! There are so many things our district doesn’t do that I really benefited from including something simple basic but necessary such as swim lessons. Two thumbs up and I hope the momentum keeps going!

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