Hello everyone! I was approached last week to consider writing more regular updates regarding what is going on in the City of Rising Sun and what people within our city our inquiring about. I had a brief apprehension to a commitment like this because of the fear of not having much to talk about. As luck would have it, the social media pot was stirred heavily and left me with an interesting topic to discuss- the Main Street fountain and its current lack of operational usefulness.
In our wonderful 200-plus year history, there could be an entire chapter written about the fountain. It’s a focal point of our riverfront and Main Street business district. As many have observed, it’s not living up to its intended use and its appearance is not what was presented by its designer. Concerns of functionality and aesthetics have conjured many strong opinions from our residents and non-city residents. So what I’d like to do here is three things: identify of issues and note what has already been done, formulate a new action plan to fix the issues and share how we intend to execute the action plan.
Identification of issues
There is no blame to place on anyone for the issues the fountain has had. Like we can all attest in our own personal lives, sometimes things don’t work out the way they were intended or we hoped. This fact of life also applies to business and government, including our own city. Just within the last few years, there have been a variety of fountain-related issues. In 2015, the city opted to replace the motor. In September 2016, Street Commissioner Paul Bovard presented examples of the piping and manifolds that have considerable lime built up within them. Normally, lime build up can be solved with a water softener. The challenge with our fountain is it’s susceptible to winds and the winds knock out the soft water. Furthermore, a water softener only recycles one time per night. At the very least, the fountain needs to have all tubing replaced with PVC piping and new manifolds installed.
Formulate the action plan
As one can imagine, replacing the piping and manifolds within a large fountain like ours takes quite a bit of effort. The work is likely going to take assistance in us removing the top of the fountain and placed into a contractor’s truck. From there, it gets shipped to someone who can work on it. But finding people both qualified and available to do this type of work is a challenge. Not to be dismissive of concerns of why this hasn’t been addressed sooner, it isn’t as simple as looking in the Yellow Pages and finding a “Fountain Repair Guy”. In the August 2017 Board of Works meeting, we noted we have one verbal bid for this work. We are trying to get that bid in writing. Ideally, we’d like to obtain one or two more bids but, again, the challenge is finding qualified and available contractors to address this type of project.
Execution of the action plan
Once we have one to three bids in writing, our Board of Works will address this issue once again. My inclination is our BOW is willing to give the fountain repair another shot. If the fountain can be fixed and can be fixed for a reasonable price, great. That’s our preferred option. However, if repair attempts fail or prove to be too costly, perhaps it’s time to consider alternative functional uses for the area. I hope it never comes to that. But should it happen, the residents within the City of Rising Sun will be given plenty of opportunities to solicit their input.
In closing, I want to thank all of our city residents who have brought their concerns to us. Each of our city employees and our elected city officials strive to be the best representatives we can. None of us took our jobs without knowing what was involved. We cherish our responsibility and look forward to addressing more of your concerns in the future whether it be face-to-face, by phone or by email. In fact, we’ve openly given our city residents the chance to productively share their concerns by participating in a problem/solution contest. Our city leans on its residents because we all recognize to be the best version of ourselves, we have to be open to any and all ideas. I’d like to close with a bible passage that feels relevant to our City, Proverbs 27:17. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Thank you and God Bless!
Mayor Brent Bascom
City of Rising Sun