The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

Council makes plans for new splashpad

Moorcroft’s splashpad has been an anticipated addition to the town’s summertime recreation for several years, waiting on grant possibilities as the town works diligently on the more pressing issues of outdated and failing infrastructure. Now, with the Powder River Water Project II moving forward, so too is the Splash Park Project.

Since the beginning, the plan has been to have the feature installed in Noonan Park, the town’s oldest square. Unfortunately, after testing the planned site, Advanced Geo-Tech Solutions found the ground to be unstable.

The crew drilled approximately 16 feet, according to HDR Engineering’s spokespersons at a workshop last week, to measure the potential density of the soil for the express purpose of said installation.

When apprised of this news, a couple of hours before the meeting, Clerk/Treasurer Cheryl Schneider contacted the state grant facility to inform them of the problem and ask if the town could move the project to another park.

She says the agency advised her, “We would have to redo the application if we moved it to a different park. I asked if there was funding to apply for remediation if it was kept at the same park and there is.” The state also suggested withdrawing the current application and reapplying next spring.

HDR’s Heath Turbiville reported, “We’ve started looking for other solutions for way to handle the expansive soils, but we really haven’t gotten anything together yet to discuss. If there is anything that has come to anybody’s mind that you like us to investigate…”

He said of the drilling company’s recommendations, “[They] were rather expensive due to the amount of movement that we’re going to see in the soil.”

Mayor Ben Glenn asked questions of possible installation options available if keeping the project in Noonan.

The engineers have offered the providers of the splashpad in which the town is interested an overview of the problem. Within the short timeframe available, the company suggested flexible pipe, similar to PEX®, however, the safety range for this piping by provider is between four and six inches in diameter.

Glenn asked, “Four to six inches – is that on the extreme side? I know the location so I am comfortable in saying two inches because I see it every year.” While the mayor recognized the safety issue, “I don’t know that we need to plan for six; I think, realistically, it’s a two to four range. We have seen the two inch in our streets, obviously, in that area.”

The possible cost increase to the project because of the soil is 25-30%, according to Glenn and Turbiville, however, the council hopes to mange this hurdle, too, “It is a problem, but we do have a lot of ‘in kind’ that can get some of the systems installed. the city can help with that. This can’t be the first time anybody has done anything on these types of soils… I really think there’s a work-around this and I think there’s a way to do it there. Next step, figure out which system will work.”

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