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Wood and water don't mix at Snyder Park

City officials are seeking the public's help in maintaining one of the town's newest and most used additions - the water feature at Snyder Park.

The feature, which includes large rocks, cascading water and misting fountains, has seen a serious spike in use with the warmer temperatures. The problem isn't the heat, but rather people bringing debris, primarily wood chips from the playground area, over to the feature, where they've repeatedly clogged the filters and the holding tank beneath the fountain. The township has already broken three pumps, and is currently sending staff to the site severla times each week to clean the feature. Each time, they are pulling out two to three yards of sand and wood chips, according to City Manager Ross Schultz. He said the city is dedicating about one-half to three-quarters of an FTE, or full time equivalency employee, cleaning the fountain.

With sand around the play area, and taking into account general usage, the fountain was designed to collect some debris in the large holding tank beneath it. It's the amount of debris that has been causing problems. The city oririnally planned on pumping out the holding tank only once each week during the summer.

City Councilor Linda Henderson also asked city staff to look into doing something about the wood on the small bridge in the park. She said it can become very slippery when it's wet, and a boy fell and scrapped his back across a step earlier in the week.

'It looks very nice,' she said of the wood, 'but it's not very practical.'

Council and staff discussed several potential solutions, the most drastic being turning the feature off for several days at a time, or asking those who repeatedly bring sand and wood chips into the fountain to leave. They also suggested finding some volunteers to man the area during high-use times, primarily when the temperature hover between 75 and 85 degrees, according to Schultz. He said when it's much hotter than that, people tend to just stay home.

For now, council decided to install some new signs near the fountain to outlining the problem, and detailing how to avoid it.