The city of Dover may not have a municipal swimming pool, but it soon could have a municipal splash park.
The city's Parks, Recreation and Community Enhancement Committee on Monday approved a recommendation to reach out to the public to see where Dover's citizens would want the park.
Splash parks are becoming a more attractive alternative to swimming pools in urban areas. They offer water-based recreation without the costs of lifeguards and have little standing water, eliminating most chances of drowning accidents.
Dover's Parks and Recreation Department has recommended this type of park be built at Schutte Park in conjunction with a master plan being developed for the park.
City officials determined it was too costly to build and maintain a city swimming pool and decided a splash park would be the most cost effective alternative.
Planning for the project would start in Fiscal Year 2015 with construction beginning the following year, according to the city's Capital Improvements Plan. The $300,000 cost would be spread over two years, with $20,000 from the city's general fund being spent in 2015 for planning and design and $280,000 in 2016 for construction.
Funding in 2016 includes $40,000 from the city's parkland reserve and $240,000 in projected grants from the state of Delaware.
At the same meeting, committee members also recommended the recreation center at Dover Park be demolished. The building, which formerly housed offices as well as recreational activities has been vacant since those functions were moved to the Pitts Recreation Center at Schutte Park.
Although the building has been used occasionally for private functions, it also has been subject to vandalism and is falling into disrepair, said committee chairman Wallace Dixon.
It would cost at least $170,000 to rehabilitate the almost-40-year-old building, he said.