State law forces changes to Rotary splash park

ALPENA — A change in Michigan construction law has forced a change to the splash park plans at Starlite Beach and Alpena Rotary Club is trying to raise an additional $5,000 to cover the additional cost of the design change.

According to splash park committee Co-Chair Joanne Gallagher, a series of copper rods need to be installed throughout the park, which will act as a ground to help reduce the threat of electrocution. Gallagher said the original design offers proper protection and an electrical accident was unlikely, but now that state law has been changed. The new code needs to be complied with, which caused a slight change in plans and added cost.

“The chance of anything happening was very slim, but we need to follow what the state law says and it is better to be safe than sorry,” Gallagher said.

The amendment to the project isn’t expected to cause a delay, Gallagher said. She said the concrete pad was being set Tuesday and progress has been steady. She said the June 30 completion date is still expected.

“We should have the sun shelters and the splash park done then and ready for the Fourth of July,” she said.

Rotary already has committed than $200,000 toward the splash park and the city received a large DNR Trust Fund grant to cover a large portion of the cost of other improvements at Starlite Beach. Gallagher said Rotary hopes to raise the needed money from both public and private donations.

“We really haven’t approached any businesses for donations and the public hasn’t really been asked for them either,” Gallagher said. “If everyone just puts in $5 that would make a big difference and I think with the support the public has had for this project we should be able to raise the money.”

People or businesses wanting to make a donation can do so by logging on to the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan’s website at and click on the “funds” tab. The Rotary splash park project is listed under projects that begin with the letter “R.”

Gallagher said donations also can be dropped off at Community Foundation.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.