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SIOUX CITY -- Splash pads are hot commodities in metro Sioux City.

Last year, the city of Sioux City finished a splash pad at its all-seasons Cone Park and opened another at Cook Park. Additionally, the city has plans for a firefighter-themed splash pad at Rose Hill Park this year and another splash pad as part of the Riverfront development at Chris Larsen Park, where it hopes to begin construction in 2020.

The Cone and Cook park additions doubled the city's number of splash pads. The Dale Street Park splash pad, 1514 Dale Street, was the first to open in 2009. The Leeds Park splash pad at 3810 41st Street, opened to 2017.

The Miracle League of Sioux City completed work last year on an addition to its splash pad at its complex in Riverside. The new features added a 20-by-30 splash pad area geared to children 6 months to 5 years old. 

Regionally, Sergeant Bluff, North Sioux City and Sloan also have splash pad projects in various stages of completion. All three are expected to be complete within the next few years. 

At this rate, by the end of 2019 the area will have more than quadrupled the number of splash pads it had in 2016, growing from two to nine. 

Sioux City Parks and Recreation director Matt Salvatore said splash pads' popularity is a nationwide trend. The advantages include low maintenance costs, no staffing needs and extended hours and seasons compared with a public pool. 

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Matt Salvatore head shot

Salvatore

"The best thing about a splash pad is they're free and they have longer hours of operation," he said. 

In Sioux City, neighborhood splash pads have appeared in some areas where the city has shuttered two of its pools. The city has also worked them into new park plans, including Cone Park and the upcoming riverfront redevelopment. Salvatore said the city has been attentive to spreading them into different neighborhoods.

In North Sioux City, city administrator Ted Cherry said in June the city is continuing to raise funds and evaluate potential sites for the splash pad, which he estimates will cost around $100,000. The city plans to provide $50,000 with the rest made up via fundraising. 

"We have a number of parks in town and spaces that it might be suitable for, but we're trying to figure out basically which location would be best based on the type of system that's used," he said. 

In Sergeant Bluff, city administrator Aaron Lincoln said in June the city is working on writing grants for its splash pad, and about half of the funds needed have been set aside by the City Council. The city is looking at a $135,000 price tag. 

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