Minden Park faces changes
When Minden Park was first created 112 years ago, it was irrigated from the ditch along County Road.
A low berm lined the park and irrigators would fill the park with water, according to Wynne Maule’s book, “Minden: The Story of a Unique Town.”
“There is probably not a person raised in Minden who, as a child, does not fondly recall putting on their swimsuit and running and sliding on the grass in the park when it had about 4-5 inches of water that had been well-heated by the summer sun,” Maule wrote.
The installation of a splash pad will see children again playing in the water in the Valley’s oldest park.
However, to make room for the splash pad, the pine tree and planter in front of the Minden Gazebo will have to be removed.
A splash pad is a concrete surface with a variety of nozzles that spray water.
Minden Town Board members approved installing the splash pad at their Wednesday meeting 3-2, with John Stephans and Bill Souligny voting against.
Town Manager JD Frisby said the work is scheduled to be done through August and September.
As part of the proposal, a tree dedicated to longtime Minden Volunteer Fire Chief Dan Hellwinkel will be moved to Bougainvillea Park in Winhaven.
Construction of the splash pad will cost $52,900, according to Frisby.
While not as obvious, renovations to the bathrooms under the gazebo will be the more expensive of the changes to the park.
Town board members approved a roughly $133,000 renovation of the bathrooms under the gazebo.
Frisby said the ramp that provides handicapped access to the restrooms is too steep to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act.
The town board rejected a proposal to build a standalone bathroom.
Minden Park was included as a town square in the town’s original plan, according to Maule.
The gazebo was built in 1984 by the Minden Rotary Club, which also installed the sprinklers since with bathrooms below surface level, the park couldn’t be irrigated any more.
The tree in the park has also been part of Minden’s annual Christmas celebration for years.