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Martin Luther King Park splash pad should be open longer, resident says

The new splash pad at Martin Luther King Park is not open long enough, Samuel A. Herbert said Thursday.

Herbert, chairman of the Coalition to Save Martin Luther King Park, had a news conference on the steps of City Hall calling for all of the jets in the splash pad to be turned on, as well as a lighting feature in the middle of the basin.

“People have failed to see the true beauty of this design,” he said.

While Herbert said that he estimates that only 30 percent of the fountainheads in the splash pad are working, the city said that of more than 300 heads, only a dozen aren’t turned on.

There are some mechanical issues with the fountainheads, and they will be fixed once the summer season is over, said Mayor Byron W. Brown.

“In any facility there can be repair issues,” Brown said. “The jets are certainly working well enough that children and families are having a great experience there.”

The city does not anticipate having to interrupt service at the splash pad to make repairs.

Herbert also complained that because the splash pad is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the light feature is never turned on, because it is never dark before the splash pad closes.

Brown said last weekend, during the Masten Jazz Festival, the light was turned on from 9 to 11 p.m., and would be turned on during future special events.

The light and water must be turned on together, he said.

All city splash pads close at 7 p.m., Brown said. They are staffed with private security and police officers.