rexburg splash pad

Families having fun at the Splash Pad in Porter Park during the 2019 Carousel Kick-Off.

REXBURG − At the Aug. 7 city council meeting Megan Scholes, aquatics manager at Rexburg Rapids, discussed repairs for Rexburg Rapids and the Splash Pad at Porter Park.

Scholes said there were cracks on the slides at the Splash Pad including untreated fiberglass spider cracks. She said the slides need to be sanded down, gel coated and repainted. She also said play equipment is significantly faded from frequent use over the years.

She said that the company Rexburg Rapids staffers spoke with about repairs estimated the cost for the sanding of the red and yellow slides and repainting could cost the city around $23,000 and it could take a few weeks to finish it.

Scholes said water park staff also want to put a 6-8-foot high fence around the Splash Pad that would wrap around the carousel. She said they’d like to include surrounding grass for families to sit down and relax while their children play on the splash pad. She said the coated chain-link fence will include two gates and look similar to the fence around the front of Rexburg Rapids.

Scholes said the fence is needed due to the wear and tear the Splash Pad gets in the offseason from people using slides and playing there when they shouldn’t be. She said she’s seen people remove signs that said not to play on the Splash pad during winter and fall months.

“We hope that it will preserve the structure that people love so much,” Scholes said.

Matt Nielson, the city’s chief financial officer, said that for reasons of safety and protecting the city’s investments he felt it could be a good option to put in a fence around the Splash Pad that connects to the Carousel.

Council member Brad Wolfe said he felt it would be a better option to have a canvas cover made for the pavement and have some kind of temporary fence just around the slides. There is no information on just how much that would cost the city.

“I just don’t like the fence idea, it would look horrible,” he said.

Council Member Tisha Flora said she liked the fence idea. She felt that it would make the Splash Pad safer for toddlers and small children. She felt that the fence would relieve worry about children going off to other areas of the park or to the street.

“When I had toddlers I would’ve loved to have that fence,” Flora said. “When you look at Park Street Park you don’t notice the fence at all but all the moms love that fence. It’s one of the reasons it’s so popular.”

Scholes also told the council about repairs that need to be done at Rexburg Rapids. She said that there were slides there that also had cracks from use and exposure to the elements due to being outside.

She said that there was also rust on stairs that lead up to their red tower and that the cost to totally replace them would be about $100,000 and that she wanted to look at other options to more permanently fix the problem.

She said when Rexburg Rapids first opened water park staff used a cal-hypo chlorine that caused significant discoloration and they no longer use that and instead use a liquid bleach form of chlorine. She said the discoloration is not just on the slides but also on the bucket.

Scholes said water park staff also want to repaint many of its slides. She said the green slide is almost white inside and out. She said they want to repaint the blue and yellow slides as well. She said it could cost the park about $22,000 to sand and gel-coat the inside of the slides.

Scholes said water park staff would also like to install a new combined heat and power (CHP) system to heat water and put less stress on the boiler.

“CHP is an energy efficient technology that generates electricity and captures the heat that would otherwise be wasted to provide useful thermal energy — such as steam or hot water — that can be used for space heating, cooling, domestic hot water and industrial processes,” according to the EPA website.

After more discussion the council decided to table the issue for the next council meeting to give it more time to make a decision on the repairs, fence and CHP system.

The Standard Journal will continue to update the situation as more information becomes available.

To contact Victoria email her at vvarnedoe@uvsj.com or call her at 208.356.5441. at extension 13.