Friday, July 28, 2017
Many Granger residents think of Department of Public Works crew members as heroes. That esteem may rise even more this summer when they complete the new splash pad in downtown.
Public Works became heroes back in the 1980s when the guys made some of finest animated parade floats to represent the community. They were displayed in the biggest of parades, such as the Lilac Festival in Spokane and the Seafair Torchlight Parade in Seattle.
The parade float era came to an end, but soon, the men started making replica dinosaurs. They were part of a plan to pick off some of the tourism dollars that are spent in the valley every year. They are still making dinosaurs, counting 33 now.
Given the heat this summer, this splash pad may be the most important project ever for Public Works. Granger is one of the few valley communities that does not have a public pool. Right about now, kids in Granger would go for anything cool.
Granger had a pool from 1939-2000, but it started leaking and was closed. The City Council decided it was too costly to replace, pulled it up and filled the hole.
In the Front Page story today about breaking ground for the splash pad, it seems as if the Swimming Pool Committee is giving up after years of trying to raise the money to attract grants for a pool. But maybe not. Maybe they just need to find the keys to people’s hearts — and wallets.
Granger did respond to a similar campaign around 1980. A group wanted a new library. It needed to raise something like $200,000 to attract grant funding.
That group went door-to-door throughout the school district to convince residents they needed to get in on the action and own the library. Donations, large and small, came from nearly every household, and the money was raised. The result was not only a library, but also a museum.
This splash pad is really a good idea. Even old people could get in on that fun. Maybe Granger folks can celebrate the pad’s opening with a community splash party and picnic.
Whatever happens, the guys at Public Works stand to be heroes again.