Reader Letters

Reader Letters | July 29, 2010

Fountain of Rumors
    It has recently come to my attention that there has been some significant talk by city officials to eliminate the fountain in Wilson Park. I am hoping this is just hearsay with no merit at all, but I suspect it to be true. As far as I know, no decision has been made yet, and so far, knock on wood, this is still “just talk.” I am not aware of the exact plan (whether it is to dismantle the fountain or remove it or leave it there but stop filling it with water), but I do know that there is a problem. You see, too frequently, someone decides it would be clever or funny or aesthetically pleasing (“look at the pretty bubbles! Ooh! Ahhh!”) to dump soap or other bubble-producing agents into the water in the fountain. Inevitably, this clogs the fountain’s pump and sometimes ruins the motor. The city parks employees have to go drain the fountain, clean the pump, sometimes replace the motor, and refill the fountain with water. This costs the city a lot of money that could otherwise be spent on – oh, I don’t know – schools or potholes or snow removal or something else that may or may not be important to us. If these soap bubble pranks continue, the city could decide that we are not mature enough or deserving enough to be able to enjoy the privilege of a lovely fountain in the middle of the park, and the fountain might be eliminated as a means of cutting unnecessary and excessive costs. I like bubbles too, but please keep your bubbles in your bathtubs.

– Heather Jean Hoover-Shaw, Fall Creek

    Thank you for bringing this rumor to our attention, Heather. Wilson Park is probably Eau Claire’s most underappreciated park, which is partly why we chose it as the location of our annual Chalkfest, and much of its charm stems from the fountain. But, thankfully, we did a little digging and found this to be just a rumor. The city even spent $35,000 a few years ago to repair said fountain. We called up Phil Fieber, director of parks, recreation, and forestry, who promptly debunked the hearsay. “I suppose there could be someone on city council campaigning for it, but I would think I would have heard about that.” But Phil did agree with your assessment of the bubbles. They aren’t fans.

– Your fountain-loving friends at V1