Lake Barrington approves splash park

The Lake Barrington Countryside Park District is hopeful that a splash park approved Wednesday night will be in use before the end of the summer.

Lake Barrington village trustees approved the use of developer impact fees to pay for half of the $200,000 park district project, to be located just south of the existing playground at village hall, 23860 Old Barrington Road.

Though the village’s plan commission had unanimously recommended approval of the splash park in April, village board members deferred a decision in May as they had questions about their own legal liability which no park district representatives were available to answer.

But park district President Michael Graft Jr. did attend Wednesday’s meeting, where he was able to allay trustees’ concerns by keeping on file the park district’s certificate of insurance for the splash park, Village Attorney James Bateman said.

Graft said splash parks have become increasingly popular in places similar to Lake Barrington where the needed space, expense and maintenance of a full swimming pool are prohibitive.

The project will include not only the 40-foot by 36-foot splash park, but also a 12-foot by 18-foot structure containing the pump house and a unisex bathroom to replace the portable toilet there now.

The park district has been saving for the splash park for some time and no tax hike will be required, Graft said.

The splash park will be activated by the periodic press of a button by its users.

Construction will take about eight weeks and it’s expected to be ready while the weather is still warm. In future years, the park is planned to operate from about Memorial Day to Halloween.