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NT parks options: Splash pad, solar-powered toilet or permanent stage

NORTH TONAWANDA – To flush or to splash. That was the question at a North Tonawanda Common Council work session.

With summer winding down, the North Tonawanda Common Council discussed Tuesday night plans for city parks for next season, and how to use New York Power Authority funds for recreation.

North Tonawanda Parks and Recreation Director Patricia Brosius said plans for a new $200,000 splash pad at the city’s Memorial Pool may be beautiful, but she said it shouldn’t be a top priority. She’d rather see the city purchase a solar-powered toilet for the municipal golf course and a permanent stage for Veteran’s Park.

Brosius said there already is a popular wading pool for youngsters, adjacent to the city pool on Payne Avenue, and having that plus a splash pad would require a lot of space.

“I don’t know if I want to give up parking. This year we had over 20,000 people visit that pool” said Brosius, referring to both the city pool and the wading pool.

In addition, she called the splash pad an attractive nuisance that would draw in skateboarders.

“Splash pads are wonderful, but they come with their own sets of problems,” she said.

She said the city currently has a mobile stage that it bought second-hand 15 years ago, which is now 40 years old.

“It’s old, but it works,” she said.

But she said a permanent stage at Veteran’s Park could replace the temporary stage and allow the city to host more shows, hold exercise classes, and put permanent storage at the site. She said the city could also put up temporary canvas awnings on the sides of a permanent stage, which could protect the stage during rainy weather.

“Seniors really enjoy concerts there,” said Brosius. “It’s been 15 years. It’s about time.”

Another idea floated by Brosius was a green-energy, solar-powered flush toilet.

She said a 8-by-10 building could house a single toilet and washing sink at the golf course. The cost would be $36,000 per unit.

Brosius said the city has 14 portable toilets and pays $100 per month for each unit. The green-energy toilet would replace a portable toilet at the golf course, if approved.

She said it is good for about 3,000 flushes before they need to be serviced and, unlike portable toilets, they flush and are odorless.

“It actually can be used with the (golf course) irrigation system, so we wouldn’t have to worry about the water, but in other places they use rain water. The sink water is used to flush the toilet,” she said of the green energy system.

The Common Council did not take any action to submit any of these plans for power authority funding, but Brosius said her number one choice would be the permanent stage.

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