Local man proposes city skate pad, splash park | News | The Press and Standard

by | June 29, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: June 28, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Eddie Rumfelt is excited about the new splash pad at the Rec Center — but he has bigger plans in mind.

Rumfelt wants the city to build a combination splash pad and skate park — something to accommodate both youngsters and teens year-round.

The problem with the Rec Center project, he said, is that it’s a small floor jet-type spray pad with no water features. While it would offer those attending tournaments a place to cool off, it’s not really a convenient location for city residents. Plus, Rumfelt has concerns about the high volume of traffic at sporting events creating a lack of parking which is already a problem at the center. “Many Walterboro residents feel the Rec Center is a very inconvenient location, especially if the city is trying to draw interstate traffic into the city,” he said.

His proposal is for the city to buy 5-8 acres and built both a slightly more elaborate splash pad and a skate park with parking and restrooms. “Many small cities are finding the funds through various parks and recreation grants, local business sponsorships and even community fundraising to build these types of parks,” he said. His proposal is “nothing too extravagant. Just something here in Walterboro for the kids to do — that’s the really big need right now,” he said. “The violence is really bad right now. I’ve lived in Walterboro my whole life — I was a teenager here at one time too, and I know there’s nothing to do.” (A 2000 graduate of Walterboro High School, the Rumfelt family has lived here since 1979, when Eddie’s grandfather opened McDonald’s.)

The second part of the plan — a skateboarding park — would offer teens a safer alterative to the local hangout spots. “While a splash pad is closed during the cooler months, a skate park would generate revenue all year. Constructing a skate park at the same time as the splash pad would be best economically, since they would share the cost of the same raw materials like rebar, dirt and concrete,” he said. Building a block wall between the two areas could provide separation, while still allowing kids to interact.

Although splash pads are “pretty much self-running,” Rumfelt feels someone would need to be there to oversee the area. “For Walterboro I think it would be better to have a fenced-in facility with admission fees — people would care more about it if they have to pay to get in. Rules and regulations and admission fees would cut back on the damage done. Kids are rough on things.”

He knows because he has two sons of his own, 11 and 6, and they were a big part of his realization that more youth-oriented activities are needed here. “The city did a good job when they redid all the parks. But my oldest son is getting bored with that. We live literally a block from the park, so we go there at least twice a week. And my kids aren’t really into sports, so that’s not an option.”

Anyone interested in the project can sign a petition supporting the park at https://www.change.org/p/ask-the-city-of-walterboro-to-work-with-citizens-to-build-a-splash-pad-skate-park.

comments » 6

  1. Comment by Eddie Rumfelt

    June 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you so much for covering my petition.

  2. Comment by William Harvey

    June 29, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Walterboro needs more for the kids to do around here as well as the adults do. Respect this effort.

  3. Comment by Sarah Keith

    June 30, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Thank you for doing on article on this! I fully support Eddie’s idea. It’s a brilliant idea for giving Colleton youth something constructive to do!

  4. Comment by Mike Garvin

    July 2, 2017 at 1:24 am

    I judge Mr. Rumfelt did not do the proper analysis regarding this issue. The monies used for this will come from the City of Walterboro versus the county. I only say this because both the city and county default back to conflict theorems to address any problems. Mr. Rumfelt said, “Many small cities are finding the funds through various parks and recreation grants, local business sponsorships and even community fundraising to build these types of parks.” He is probably right, however, if this idea was a fiscally advantageous, the private sector would push to do this on their own. If Mr. Rumfelt, cannot raise the monies (and all he monies including buying the land), how much of his personal finances will he invest into this project? Does he feel the role of government (tax payer dollars) is to address boredom for children or should this be the responsibility of the parents? Where has this project worked in the past? How many children in Colleton County like to skateboard? Since Walterboro may create another position (not job) for tax dollars to underwrite, how much will this cost annually? What relative will be awarded the contract for this project? How much will the maintenance cost annually? What are the liabilities the city will face if a child gets injured? It appears Mr. Rumfelt’s motivation is to provide something for his children with the rest of the city’s money. I don’t support this endeavor to use tax dollars to quench boredom, however, if city council or a referendum is granted towards this, good luck. I do not assess this will bring in the necessary revenue to pay for itself in the long term.

  5. Comment by Brandy

    July 3, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Walterboro needs more places for children… 😃

  6. Comment by Sheree Avant

    July 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    They could’ve taken some of the money the city wasted trying to beautify the city!!! Like Jefferies and sidewalks with light post in the middle of them. And the trees planted are going to eventually have roots that will ruin the sidewalks. And the trees in the middle of the roads that make it hard to get in and out of a business.
    I am not saying that the water park is the way to go. But we need something for the kids!!!!


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