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Splash pad coming to Medford downtown

A splash pad is coming to downtown Medford as part of a redevelopment of current parking lot space along Whelen Ave.

At Monday night’s Medford City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, members voted 7-1 with alderman Mike Bub opposed to recommend moving forward with the project.

City coordinator Joe Harris proposed purchase of the materials for the construction of the splash pad for the future Whelen Park. The city crew will do the work of installing the splash pad which will save on labor costs.

Harris requested $20,000 from the ARPA funds, since the sewer lining on Highway 13 came in around $80,000 under what the City had budgeted for it. The rest of the cost for the splash pad materials would come out of an undesignated reserve fund. The total cost for the materials for the splash pad is around $128,700. The city will purchase the equipment through a state bidding cooperative purchase agreement. Several companies bid on State contracts and any municipality and county can take advantage of the pricing.

One of the advantages of the Whelen Park location is that there will not need to be additional water filtration or treatment with the water coming from the city system and flowing into the nearby Black River. This dramatically reduces upkeep expenses over having the system filter and reuse the water.

The splash pad will be able to be used See COUNTY on page 9 anytime of the day free of charge. Harris’ idea is that once a week for a half hour at dusk the splash pad would perform a light and fountain show. This can be programmed for any day of the week and for any duration.

The proposal for the construction of Whelen Park, which includes a pavilion with bathrooms and the splash pad, was already approved by the Medford City Council.

In other business:

 Marilyn Frank’s application for moving her business’s liquor license from her current location to across the street for her new location was reviewed, approved by the committee, and passed to council for a formal vote. The change is in preparation for the opening of her new restaurant in the former Medford Cooperative Building on Whelen St.

 The liquor license application for the change of premises for 8th Street Artisan’s was reviewed, approved by the Committee, and passed to Council for a formal vote. The business is relocating from next to 8th St. Saloon into the Northwoods Plaza.

 Commonwealth Companies has found an investor for the Cedar Ridge Development they are building on Progressive Avenue, and continue to keep moving forward with the project. They are still working on acquiring the necessary funds for the project to be completed as expected. The current plan includes two 16unit buildings, one eight unit building, and a clubhouse. Half of the units will have three bedrooms, and half will have two bedrooms. These apartments will have income eligibility and are intended as being “workforce housing.”

 The City of Medford has earned recognition as a 2022 Tree City USA.

 The next Medford City Council meeting will be held on Monday, April 3, 2023 at 6 p.m., instead of the usual date due to the Spring General Election being held on Tuesday, April 4, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The next Medford Committee of the Whole meeting will be on April 10 at 6 p.m.