Little Lake fountain project offers a leak, but far from dead in the water



Donation-Based Initiative Hits Power Cable Problem, Midland Council Says “While It’s Safe”

A citizen approached Midland City Council this week with a new idea for Little Lake Park: a decorative fountain with a 9-meter-high jet.

Harvey Mann launched the initiative earlier this week at Committee of the Whole, after gathering information and resources for the proposal.

“The particular unit we were looking at,” Mann described, “was a 7.5 horsepower motor that fits into the cavity of the floating fountain. The average height of the water exiting from the top would be between 22 and 30 feet, depending on the type of water nozzle coming out of it.

During his presentation, Mann spoke about reaching out to local businesses for sponsorship, including a touching conversation with Boathouse Eatery co-owner George Papasthatis.

“When I called George about the opportunity to sponsor something, he informed me a week before I called him that he had lost his father,” Mann explained. “He thought it would be a great idea to sponsor the project in memory of his father. “

“He came back to me and told me that they (Papasthatis’ family) would be more than happy to do that. He pledged a figure of $ 17,000, which could go up to $ 20,000.

Mann also acknowledged and thanked the generosity of Walker Electric co-owners, Dan McLaughlin and Glenn Walker, for pledging to install an $ 8,500 beachside power source for the fountain. According to discussions between Mann and Midland PUC, the cost of electricity for the fountain would be around $ 4,000 per year.

However, this is where the proposal was put aside as Mann turned to resolve an issue, which had been uncovered 24 hours before the presentation.

The description of a 7.5 horsepower engine with a plume of 6.7 to 9 meters high corresponds to the Kasco J decorative fountain series.

As stated in the Kasco J Series 7.5 horsepower owner’s manual available on the manufacturer’s website, in bold type on the second page, it says: “Under NO EVENT will anyone get into the water. with the electrical equipment plugged in and / or operating. “

“The product that we are considering purchasing is made in the United States,” Mann explained. “There is an undersea cable that would run 150 feet to the fountain.”

“To check things out, which I do, I was talking to US Kasco recently and asked the question, ‘Do you have any issues with young children and adults swimming in the area? They tend to want to pass and wreak havoc around the fountain.

According to Mann, the Kasco rep reiterated the electrical warning in the owner’s manual.

“They (Kasco) told me that they know a lot of customers who have chosen to put the cable on and people are swimming around. I am also thinking of all the submarine cables as we make our way to the 30,000 islands. “

Brent Statten is the Vice President of Customer Relations for DeiceAir, a Kasco dealership based in Huntsville. Talk with MidlandToday, Statten explained why the electrical component would be of concern.

“Kasco models go for great horsepower. They operate via a turbine which pushes water through a nozzle which throws it to quite extreme heights depending on the power. Statten added that when choosing a fountain model, a power source is chosen based on the depth, width and size use of the pond.

Statten noted that he had never sold a fountain with more than five horses, adding, “Most of the time they go into decorative ponds outside commercial buildings. On a large scale, but on private property.

During the presentation, Deputy Mayor Mike Ross mentioned responsibility for Kasco’s warning.

“There is that responsibility, but I’m sure in our time everyone has to try to cover any responsibility, and that’s just their way.”

The majority of the council welcomed the idea of ​​the decorative water fountain, but the council. Jonathan Main wanted to ask a question on the environmental aspect.

“We’ve been thinking about a fountain for a number of years,” Main said. “I would like a feasibility report from our engineering team, because as you said, it looks like we’ve determined a lot of the upfront costs and donations. Ongoing costs, maintenance costs, life cycle costs will add up; unfortunately this is not a passive installation, it is a very active installation.

Main added that the invasive zebra and quagga mussels could damage the fountain.

“But if the goal is to improve the water quality in Little Lake and we only have a dollar to spend, are we spending it on this beautiful fountain that potentially gives us water quality benefits? water, or if there are other technologies that we could look at. “

Ross asked Mann to confirm community contributions as well as relevant documents with city staff so that council can move forward on the proposal.

Council meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Meetings are broadcast live by Rogers TV on Cable 53, and are broadcast live and archived on the RogersTV website.


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