The City Council decided Wednesday that Canby’s new splash pad will go in…wait for it…wait for it…Maple Street Park.
The park in northeast Canby was recommended by the Canby Parks and Recreation Advisory Board as the best, easiest and most cost-effective option of the various alternatives, which also included Legacy Park near Ackerman Center and Wait Park in downtown Canby.
The decision was not without lengthy discussion and some contention. Several councilors expressed preference for Wait because of its more central location, its potential to serve an economic development function by drawing people downtown and, well, it’s simply a more well-known and well-loved park than Maple Street. Here’s Council President Tim Dale.
Though the city’s charter allows him to vote only in the event of a tie, Mayor Brian Hodson also expressed his preference for Wait.
Councilor Sarah Spoon said she would support the Maple Street recommendation because having a splash pad anywhere is a “net win” for Canby, but she had concerns about placing the water feature at a location that is not central and currently has no public transit or sidewalk access.
The main problems with Wait were that locating the pad there would require a redesign of the park, and probably the removal of trees. Popular summer events that are based around Wait Park might have conflicted or have had to be reworked.
While it’s true that none of these barriers are necessarily insurmountable, with a little creativity and the political will to overcome them, it’s also true that that Maple Street Park not having any of these issues made it an overall more attractive location.
The council ultimately voted 6-0 to proceed with the design of a splash pad at Maple Street Park. Details like size and cost won’t be known until that process is further along, but it is certain that the feature won’t be completed in time for this summer, as the parks board had initially hoped.
Instead, look for Canby’s new splash pad to come online in the summer of 2020.