Galion’s splash park facility deemed a big success

GALION — The city’s new splash park was deemed a success Tuesday at Galion’s city council meeting.

Terry Gribble, director of the Galion YMCA that oversees the water park and the Heise Park Pool, said 8,216 people utilized the splash park at East Park between July 12 and Labor Day.

“It opened on July 8, but we did not start tracking the number of people until July 12,” said Gribble.

Gribble said the splash park was staffed for a total of 359..5 hours.

“The total cost to operate the splash park was $5,392,” Gribble said.

Gribble said the splash park was open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. but was not utilized by very many people from 11 a.m. to noon.

Council member Shirley Clark, who heads up the parks and recreation committee, said people visited the spark from many different areas including Bucyrus, Toledo, Ashland and Marion.

“We have received a lot of great feedback,” she said.

Gribble said that the last few summers have been colder and rainy, but this past summer was hot, humid and sticky.

“The Heise Park Pool was open a total of 469 hours this summer while last summer, the pool was only open a total of 366.5 hours,” Gribble said. “We did not have the rainy days that would have closed the pool.”

Gribble said this fact drove up wages paid to lifeguards and other staff. He said the total cost to operate the pool was $48,960 and the total income from admission fees was $31,000 with a balance of $14,125 for the city to pay.

“The cost of wages for this year was $9,840,” Gribble said.

Gribble is looking at options for the pool next near to keep it open longer, making a season pass more appealing.

“We are in need of adults that want to become certified to lifeguards. This year, we could not find anyone,” Gribble said.

Gribble said high school students begin sports and band Aug. 1. and college students leave soon after.

Council passed several pieces of legislation as an emergency including a grant for the victims assistance program, the authorization of the purchase of heart monitors for the fire department through a FEMA grant, removal of a deed restriction on a property at the industrial park for Longstreth Memorials, a loan application for funding for a Charles Street sanitary sewer project and the appointments of Gloria Lust and Patty Roston to the Design Review Board.

An ordinance regarding the Efficiency Smart program was held to a first reading and an ordinance to allow a home-based business to employee three people was approved on the third reading.

The next council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the Galion Municipal Building.

Over 8,000 people visited the city’s new splash park at East Park between July 12 and Labor Day. (File Photo) 8,000 people visited the city’s new splash park at East Park between July 12 and Labor Day. (File Photo)

By Kimberly Gasuras

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Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras