Crossfield residents looking to keep cool on hot days at the local spray park this summer will have to look elsewhere, after the Town of Crossfield council agreed to keep the Banta Park Splash Pad will remain closed this summer.
“We understand this is going to disappoint a lot of people, but it is just one of many hard decisions the Town has had to take as a result of this global pandemic,” said the Town’s communications and research officer, Christina Waldner, in a statement.
According to Waldner, one of the reasons the spray park will remain closed is due to the amenity’s proximity to ongoing road work on Railway Street. Much of the road is currently excavated as part of Crossfield's Downtown Revitalization Project, as the Town replaces aging utilities.
“Construction on the Downtown Revitalization Project will take place in the vicinity of the spray park over the next months and having small children around large machinery is not something we believe is safe,” Waldner said.
Because of the ongoing construction, Waldner said the Town would need to install a temporary water line to supply the spray park, which she added is an expense the municipality cannot undertake at this time.
Another reason for keeping the spray park closed, according to Waldner, is the ongoing conditions surrounding COVID-19. Due to the pandemic, the spray park’s opening has already been delayed by seven weeks.
“We require time to get it functioning and likely this couldn't happen until the end of July, only to close it again a month later for the fall,” she said.
If any Crossfield residents wish to visit a spray park this summer, they will have to drive south.
The City of Airdrie reopened its spray park – located at Chinook Winds Regional Park – July 24, with new health and safety protocols in place to help limit the potential spread of COVID-19. The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a capacity of 100 people.
In Calgary, four of the city’s six spray parks have opened with health protocols in place, including amenities in Bowness Park, Prairie Winds Park, Rotary Park and South Glenmore Park.