More than 70 percent of residents who responded to a city survey about splash pads said they'd be willing to pay an entry fee to use one if installed.
December polling asked eight questions of Muskego residents on whether they would use such a feature, and if so, would they be willing to pay for it.
Splash pads are water features that use spouts, showers and other water play equipment without the water pooling, meaning that no lifeguards are required to oversee them. Some have a padded surface, however Muskego is looking at a coated concrete surface for its durability through the colder offseason.
Donovan Winter, an intern working with the Parks and Recreation Department, presented the findings during the Park Board meeting Monday night. Some stats included:
- Of the 369 people to respond to the survey, 83.2 percent said they would use the feature if it were in a Muskego park
- 67 percent said they would use the feature often or very frequently
- 73 percent said they would be willing to pay an entry fee for a splash pad, with the majority of those saying $2 was agreeable
- Slightly more than half (51.6 percent) said they would also purchase concessions if available at the site
- Asked if they would be interested in renting a pavilion at a site where a splash pad was featured, 75.8 percent said maybe or yes; renting the entire facility) splash pad included yielded less interest, with only 60 percent saying they would like that option
Winter said that Veterans Park led the list of possible sites based on available utilities, accessibility and its proximity to the Muskego Police Department to deter vandalism. However, parking would need to be addressed as well as how to deal with space during the Muskego Fest, which happens on Veterans Park grounds.
Park Arthur was a close second, with Moorland Park and Bluhm Farm Park falling lower on the list.
Winter said his recommendation for a splash pad would involve a recirculation system, which does have higher start up costs, but also provides higher cost efficiencies over time. He said that a conservative lifespan estimate is 15 years, but it could last 20-25 years with appropriate maintenance.
Estimated installation of a splash pad would be $300,000, with about $50,000 in annual operating costs. He noted that many communities that propose splash pads involve outside funding sources like community groups to make them a reality, as is being done in New Berlin.
At present the survey is exploratory, but could be included in a future parks budget should the city decide to move forward on it.