Idaho Falls, ID, August 12, 2013: Rebecca Casper, candidate for Idaho Falls Mayor, today called upon the Idaho Falls City Council to table any further action on the proposed Greenbelt spray park and revisit the issue next year.
The proposed spray park location has been controversial due both to safety and parking concerns and has triggered a vigorous public response.
“Our Greenbelt is a community asset. While I absolutely want to see development of amenities that attract citizen and visitors, I am concerned about the widely disparate views surrounding this project,” Casper said. “There is no reason to rush this project; we have the luxury of taking the time to do this right.”
In the most recent iteration of the proposed 2013-2014 city budget, the City Council has allotted $200,000 for this project and is expecting to receive at least $300,000 in donations from outside groups. Casper acknowledges the important role played by civic and service clubs like the Rotarians and the Civitans. “Over the years these local groups have been very generous in their willingness to support the development of both downtown and Greenbelt amenities. I appreciate their enthusiasm and fully expect their proven dedication to this community will not be dampened by slowing down the process.”
Casper does believe Tautphaus Park can easily support a public spray/water park geared for children. "We do need a place for our youngest citizens to enjoy themselves safely. It makes no sense for locals to travel outside the City for water fun in the hot summer months.”
As to siting a fountain or other future attractions on the Greenbelt, Casper recommends that city leaders take the time to re-think the underlying purpose before adding amenities. “We shouldn’t just build because we have space or because we have donated dollars. We should build to make our city more enticing, to encourage commerce, and to allow residents of all ages to enjoy themselves."