KILLEEN, TX — With inflation taking a toll on Killeen families many of them are looking for ways to beat the heat for free, but the splash pad at Long Branch Park isn’t an option.
Hitting the local swimming pool, water park or splash pad is a popular way to cool off from the summer heat.
The splash pad at Long Branch Park in Killeen is normally filled with kids splashing around but now, that splash pad has gone dry.
”The splash pad currently has a pipe break and it’s underneath the pad otherwise we would dig it out and fix it ourselves,” said Joseph Dyer, Killeen Parks and Recreations Manager. “We tried to do internal leak detection and the equipment that we have, we can’t get to the breakage.”
The broken pipe has forced the City to close the splash pad for both maintenance and health reasons.
”Because of where the leak is, we can’t properly sanitize the water. Which is why it is closed for public safety,” said Dyer. “The last thing we want is for someone to come here, have a good time, and then get sick because of where the water levels are.”
Repairing the splash pad will cost thousands and that money will have to be approved by the city council.
A vote one council member says will be easy.
”We want to be able to open it up as quickly as possible but certain things have to be done before that can happen,” said Jose Segarra, Killeen City Council Member at Large. “So, I know that right now it’s just a maintenance issue that they’re dealing with.”
The City has to outsource the repairs, something they hope a company that they hired to renovate the splash pad can take care of.
”That company is available to do leak detection," said Dyer. "So, we’re waiting to see what happens tomorrow night, if we’re able to utilize that company or if we need to do another outside source.”
With the heat, the timing is terrible, but the city says the time and money will be well spent.
”Right now like I say, we never have spent so much on our park system and our pools, and I think, in the long run, people will benefit greatly from it,” said Segarra.
For now, the splash pad will remain closed for maintenance, but the city said they hope to have it filled with kids in the coming weeks.