Wednesday, August 08, 2001

Water park plan advances

Covington hires firm to design facility for Latonia

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        COVINGTON — City Commission's plan to build a water park in Latonia is all wet — but in a good way.

        Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to spend $54,000 to hire the Cincinnati engineering firm of Brandstetter-Carroll to design the park, which will be at the Covington Youth Sports Complex on 43rd Street between Decoursey Pike and Church Street.

        “They'll design a few things based on cost, and the mayor and commissioners will make a decision,” Recreation Director Denny Bowman said.

        Mr. Bowman said the city has budgeted about $800,000 for the park. City Manager Greg Jarvis said the money is part of a nearly $11 million bond issue that includes the new firehouse in Latonia and a parking garage at Fifth Street and Scott Boulevard.

        Mr. Bowman said the goal is to begin construction this fall and be finished by next June.

        The proposed park is based on a similar facility at Winton Woods in Springfield Township in western Hamilton County. It would be a “zero depth” layout where the water is only inches deep but has various sprayers children can operate.

        “There's nothing like that in the city,” said Andi Gardner, a Latonia resident who attended Tuesday's meeting. “Just the novelty will attract people.”

        In addition to youth sports, the complex is home to the Covington Latin and Holy Cross high school boys and girls soccer teams.

        The city has deep-water pools at Randolph Park off Greenup Street and Goebel Park off Philadelphia Street. There are smaller neighborhood pools at 15th Street and Eastern Avenues and in West Covington.

        Mr. Bowman said the city is going with the water park design because it is cheaper to build than a deep-water pool and because it is hard to find lifeguards.

        There has been no neighborhood pool in Latonia since the Rosedale swimming pool was closed in March 1997 because of damage during that year's flood.

        Last August, 6-year-old Dylan Roberts drowned in about 7 feet of water at Rosedale. City officials did not fill in the pool until after the boy died.

        Dylan's parents, Michael Cole Sr. and Carla Roberts, are suing the city, claiming Covington failed to fix the pool or warn the public of the danger.

        Fort Mitchell attorney Eric Deters, who is representing the parents, said the case is scheduled for trial Jan. 15 before Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe. He said no settlement offers have been made.


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- Water park plan advances