City of Marlin plans to open first splash pad

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 8:18 AM CDT
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MARLIN, Texas (KWTX) - The City of Marlin, in partnership with Apple-Sport car dealership, is opening its first splash pad for families to enjoy just in time for summer.

“In the summer, our kids didn’t really have nothing to do, so we wanted to be able to get them something positive to do, so, other words, they didn’t get into mischief,” City Manager of Marlin Cedric Davis said. “It’s also something that the family can enjoy as a whole, and, that way, they can actually have family time.”

The splash pad is one of the amenities at the Apple Sport Park. The City will be hosting an Apple Sport Park Community Day to officially open the splash pad.

“It’s a big deal for Marlin...Never had a splash pad, never had turf soccer be all compiled into one complex is the first thing for Marlin and it’s not anything like it for miles around,” Davis said.

Davis said they revitalized tennis courts and transformed them into renovated basketball courts, soccer turf, tennis court and, now also, a splash pad.

“No one used it in decades, no electric, no running water, and we wanted to have some type of complex, but we really didn’t have a lot of revenue to really put this complex together,” he said.

He said the city did have some funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, which is federal government funding provided to cities during the pandemic. With a $100,000 partnership with Apple Sport, a car dealership in Marlin, Davis said the city was able to transform the complex into a park that families could enjoy.

“We built this complex, revitalized this complex and put something that was old, dilapidated, that was not in use, and we put it back to use where the community can benefit from it,” he said.

However, for the splash pad, filtered water is needed for children to enjoy it. Marlin has struggled with water issues for decades with the city addressing recent water concerns in a post on Facebook Monday.

“The City is currently experiencing water discoloration throughout the city. Our Crews are currently flushing the lines and checking chlorine residuals. This is a recurring issue yearly around this time that we are working to resolve,” stated by the City of Marlin Public Works Department in a social media post.

The City recently started a grant-funded project to repair and restore its water treatment facility and water lines.

While that is still in the works, Davis said water issues will not affect the fountains at the splash pad.

“It has its own self-filtration system, and it’s built into the system,” he said.

He also said, if there is a time when the community is facing a drought and asked to conserve water, the splash pad will not be an issue.

“It’s about using common sense,” he said. “If it’s a drought, you don’t turn the water on a splash pad. Also the water is, you program the computer, it’s so efficient that minute water goes through the jets so it just don’t pour and gush water.”

Davis also addressed concerns about safety at the park, saying that the City plans to install locks on the gates along with cameras.

“Right now, we’ve been talking it about the last couple of weeks, so we got to look at costs,” he said. “We’ve had one company come out and give us bid, so we got to get a couple of more bids and look at...what’s cost effective.”

KWTX reached out to Marlin PD if there are any records of criminal activity at the park. Marlin PD has not responded.

The City has also struggled with repairing old, damaged streets and overgrown cemeteries, but they hope maintenance issues will not be a concern at the park and splash pad.

In a previous story KWTX covered about lack of maintenance at the cemetery, Davis told KWTX that they have a small public maintenance crew that works on multiple city projects, but Davis said they are hoping, with the community’s help, the park will be maintained properly by all who enjoy it.

“We’re asking people to cherish it, help take care of it,” he said. “A lot of people have to come pick up trash because it’s trying to get people to understand put your trash into the trash barrel. We’re asking people to help us keep it beautiful.”

He said the city recently created a park board to help with planning and park projects; however, they are hoping volunteers step up to the plate to help keep up with maintenance.

“We’re going to hopefully we have a group of volunteers that will help keep up maintenance of each park, especially from the community area, so that’ll be the first plan,” he said. “Eventually, if not this budget year, maybe next budget year, we could put in to actually create a park department and hire a couple of people that will be in the park department.”

He said they still have some beautification work to do at the park, and they plan on adding parking as well. He hopes this is only one of the many parks that will be revitalized in the area.

Even though Davis is leaving his position as City Manager in the next few weeks, he said the plans are in place for the city to continue these projects.

The community day will take place at the Apple Sport Park on 102 Anders St. from noon to 2 p.m. Davis said there will be food and fun as well as a city presentation, and all are welcomed to attend.