With the summer-like temperatures causing unbearable hot days already, even before the actual season begins, it’s not uncommon to seek out a cool watery place to make those sweltering times a tad bit more comfortable. However, the fountain located in the center of Carrico Park Square in Russellville is not that oasis to be sought out for, and the city’s mayor is asking people to look, but don’t touch the cold inviting water.
Mayor Mark Stratton said he has been noticing people, mostly children, splashing around inside the fountain recently. He says there was even one incident where a mother brought a beach towel to dry off her child after they played inside the fountain.
“I don’t want people to think I’m trying to be mean or difficult by asking them to keep out of the fountain - I’m just concerned about their safety,” said Stratton, adding he intends to purchase a floating sign to place in the fountain asking people to stay out.
Although Stratton says he understands when it gets hot children like to play in water, he doesn’t think the fountain is a healthy or safe place to do it.
Stratton said he is concerned that if a child is playing inside the fountain and a parent turns for a moment it could only take a second for the child to drown. Also the city does not put chlorine into the fountain, so the water may not be as healthy after it rains and debris falls into it.
Stratton says the fountain is meant for aesthetic purposes only and is intended to be the center piece of the town square, not for swimming or playing.
Another issue is children climbing on the old historic cannon. Stratton says he invites people to spend time in the park, have a picnic, read a book, visit with a friend or just sit and watch the cars drive around, but he urges people to be respectful of the square and some of its historical relics. The cannon is very old, as is the several monuments that have been placed on the square.
“Please, come and enjoy the square and all the beauty it has to offer, but please be mindful of the historic nature of the square as well so we can preserve it for generations to come,” said Stratton.