McMinnville officials are again discussing a water feature on The Lot in Court Square.
“For years I’ve heard people talking about the possibility of a water feature on Main Street maybe on The Lot,” said Alderman Mike Neal, who made the request during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “I would like to ask either the Parks and Recreation Committee or the Building and Grounds Committee, I don’t know which it would fall under, to look at the feasibility of that and the cost.”
Approximately 10 years ago, the city considered installing a water park and band shell, complete with restrooms, bike rack and sidewalks at the request of Carlene Brown, who was McMinnville Parks and Recreation director at that time. However, the idea gained no traction.
The Lot is a flat, grassy area. Given its location in downtown McMinnville, the area has become a popular spot for weddings, concerts, and fundraisers. It is also used during downtown events, such as the Autumn Street Fair and Christmas in the Park to decorate the city’s annual Christmas tree that is placed in the middle of The Lot.
Neal suggests checking out what others have done.
“Maybe we could do something like they have at Bicentennial Mall or Coolidge Park in Chattanooga,” said Neal. “I would just like to ask you to look into that, explore the feasibility of it, the impact on the businesses, and all of those things. It could be something we could do in-house. I think the majority of the work can be done in-house.”
Alderman Steve Harvey said, “Something similar to a fountain with a semi-wading pool? I think that’s a good idea.”
Alderman Ben Newman says there’s a nice water feature next to Titan’s Stadium.
“There’s a great one, I think it’s Cumberland Park, in Nashville right next to the Titans Stadium,” he said. “It’s awesome. It’s a semi-circle area with seating up above it. There are little fountains that shoot up with a zero-entry area. It doesn’t really get over 6 inches deep. Kids were just running around playing in it.”
The water feature, said Neal, can be designed in a way that would allow the water to be turned off and the area still used for weddings and other events.