NJ Town Council Approves Splash Pad Proposal from Vortex Aquatic Structures

Vortex Aquatic Structures Representative Bill Smith recently came before North Judson officials to discuss designs for the Town’s splash pad project.

As a reminder, council members previously noted that the proposed placement of the recreational water feature would be on an unused concrete slab that currently sits behind the library.

During the Town Council’s final meeting in October, two proposals were considered; one included six LED lights and the other one didn’t have any lights. Smith mentioned that both of the designs are ADA and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) compliant.

There was a major price difference when factoring in the electrical costs for the proposal with lights. The light-less design would cost around $58,000 versus $77,000 for the one with lights. Members were collectively leaning toward the less expensive design.

Smith mentioned that if they choose not to incorporate lighting into the design itself, it can always be placed elsewhere in the park if officials decide it’s necessary later on.

Smith noted that due to the availability of the contractors he coordinated with, the earliest they would be able to start this project would be May or June of 2020. He added that it would take approximately 2 weeks to complete the project once they get started, depending on the weather.

He mentioned that he prefers to work with contractors that they’ve worked with in the past because it’s a specialty product.

However, he did note that with certain projects in the past he provided the features and guidance while municipality handled hiring the people who did the work and obtaining the materials.

Town Council President John Rowe added that the proposal cost doesn’t take into consideration potential contributions that would be made toward the project, such as people volunteering their time or offering a discounted rate to do some of the work or the donation of materials.

He explained, “This number would be if we were getting no donations and we just paid for it and it’s in our budget, we budgeted for it but the donations that come in could help offset the cost.”

It was noted that the money saved through in-kind contributions could be used to purchase other additional items that could be placed in the area surrounding the splash pad such as shade and seating options.

The design they were provided with would feature 20 different fixtures that would be flush mounts. Smith noted that the ground sprays are interchangeable so those could be adjusted to change the spray effect.

Councilwoman Jane Ellen Felchuck asked if any provisions could be put in place to allow for the installation of an above ground feature in future.

Smith explained that it would cost $1,600 to put in one canister that could allow for an above ground feature to be installed in the future compared to $400 for the ground spray.

He mentioned also that multiple canisters would be required to allow for that possibility. Smith added that the least expensive above ground feature is around $3,000 and more pricey ones can cost several thousand dollars.

Council president Rowe said he didn’t think they would need to add more and indicated he didn’t think it was good idea to spend extra money on something that might not be used.

Councilman James Young agreed and said Valparaiso has a flush mount splash pad in their downtown area that works well for them.

Councilwoman Wendy Hoppe voiced a concern about approving a plan without having an Indiana Department of Environmental Management permit in place.

She explained she didn’t want to run into another issue like what happened when they had to move the well site at Norwayne Field due to specific IDEM requirements.

Taking that into consideration, a motion was made to approve the light-less, $58,000 splash pad plan from Vortex, contingent upon receiving an IDEM permit. The motion passed without any opposition.

Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe noted that Town has $60,000 budgeted for this purpose and stated that officials are also looking into various other funding options that could help with the associated amenities they’re looking to include in the surrounding area.