When Safety Harbor Mayor Andy Steingold first mentioned his desire to see an interactive fountain built along the city’s waterfront area during a goal-setting session in May 2015, some people scoffed at the idea.
Nearly 15 months later, Steingold made it clear his suggestion was not a joke.
The mayor reiterated his position of installing the fountain, which consist of a series of water jets spraying upwards from a ground-level concrete pad, at the marina during the City Commission meeting on Monday night, hoping to renew interest in his proposal as work on the city’s Waterfront Park heads into its next phase.
“I’d like to reiterate, I’d certainly like to see a water element as we move forward with developing the Waterfront Park,” Steingold said during his Commission Report at the conclusion of the meeting.
“I still think we need the interactive fountain and I’m gonna see if I can bring people down from the City of Safety Harbor and fill the audience and tell us that they want an interactive fountain down at the Waterfront Park.”
The mayor’s idea was initially met with skepticism by his fellow commissioners last year, as both Janet Hooper and Cliff Merz mentioned the cost and maintenance issues associated with water-based features.
“I get the concept, but anything that captures water has to have that water filtered or treated,” Merz said at the time.
“We could just build a spray tunnel, it would be a lot cheaper,” Commissioner Janet Hooper added.
After the meeting, Steingold expounded on his vision, noting he understand the concerns people have about adding such a feature.
“There are issues with a splash pad, and no one is going to agree to it because such attractions can be undesirable,” he told Safety Harbor Connect.
“But with an interactive fountain, people don’t jump into it. They ride or walk through it.”
Steingold said after initially suggesting the interactive fountain replace the current fountain at the entrance to the marina, he has since backed off that idea.
“I’ve heard most people say they don’t want to take out the natural fountain at the marina entrance, so this fountain would be further down the marina, near the bathrooms by the pier,” he said.
“It would be part of the Waterfront Park, but not part of that project.”
He said he would like the city to conduct a study to find out if they could implement his idea.
“We have to find out the costs, and conduct a study into the design,” the mayor said, adding such studies typically cost anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000. “But I am pushing for it because I think it’s a popular idea”
“I think it would be quite a popular amenity that would be appreciated by residents and visitors to our city.”
Harborites, what do you think? Would you like to see an interactive fountain at the marina? Let us know in the comments below.
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- Initial work on Waterfront Park should be finished next week
Note: The estimated cost of the study Mayor Steingold referred to was incorrectly reported earlier. The article has been changed to reflect the proper estimated cost.