Following the heated discussion about the proposed splash pad at the May 4 Red Bud City Council meeting, Kyle Donjon, who is the alderman Ward 2 chairman of Recreational Facilities, and liaison to the Parks Department and the Fire Department, issued the following statement:
As the liaison to the Parks Department, I have been working with the Parks Committee at the direction of the mayor to come up with a plan for a splash pad. Every time the parks department gets close to having the splash pad project move forward, certain other aldermen put a stop to it with excuses: “We’ve never spent that kind of money without a grant.” “It’s not really the Parks’ money.” “We can save money by having our workers do some of the work.” Every time we bring something to committee everything gets postponed. Each time one of their excuses has been addressed by the Parks Committee, and we have done our best to compromise with them, change our plans, spend less money and most recently- go for an OSLAD grant. We now have an opportunity to have an engineering firm, HMG, that specializes in splash pads and writing grants for them, do this for Red Bud. To apply for this grant, it costs the City of Red BudNOTHING. If the City of Red Bud were to be awarded the grant, HMG would be considered for the engineering along with any other firm that would complete their bid submission. This was presented and passed unanimously in committee. It was then voted on and passed at the special city council meeting which was directly after the committee meeting on April 20, 2020.
The latest excuse given to me for delaying this project is that the contract to apply for the grant has wording that the City Attorney and our City Administrator feel ties the City of Red Bud into hiring HMG if they get the OSLAD grant awarded. This agreement was voted for, 7-1, at the April city council meeting. The agreement was in our informational packets as required before the meeting. The city attorney charges the city for his review of all packets prior to the meeting, but conveniently he does not thoroughly review all the information. The mayor refused to sign the contract, and he is personally reaching out to HMG to make the contract’s wording what the city attorney deems necessary. Thus, the splash pad project is on hold again.
For more from Donjon, please see this week’s print edition.