City council delays decision on fountain repairs, will take closer look at park

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A decision to fix the Finlay Park fountain won't be made by city council just yet.

During a meeting Tuesday, council members said they want to take a closer look at the overall park rather than spending money to fix the fountain. Council members and Mayor Steve Benjamin decided to take 30 days to mull over the decision.

A look at the agenda for Tuesday's work session shows the projected cost of a project to fix the fountain has now doubled from $300,000 to $600,000.

"The goal is to get it turned back on in a manner that people can enjoy it and it's safe," said Randy Davis, City of Columbia Recreation Program Manager.

The $600,000 figure is just a drop in the bucket compared to some $20 million to fully renovate the former Crown Jewel of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

The park, which opened in 1991, has experienced "significant deterioration." Council members believe there could be some "really unique opportunities" with Finlay Park and that could affect the fountain. It's an option they would like to explore.

"We just have to be patient and, hopefully, they will come around and support us moving forward," said Davis.

Mayor Benjamin says they have had good conversations on moving Finlay Park forward.

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