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COVID-19 relief funds could help Kansas City become 'City of Fountains' again

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Posted at 6:42 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 19:43:16-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Kansas City, Missouri, will soon be the City of Fountains once again.

Due to a nearly $7 million loss in revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parks and Recreation Department was only able to run seven of its 48 fountains last year.

Kansas City native Curtis Woods II said it's been a dark year without them.

"It was tough not seeing any cars, any people and then the fountains were gone too," Woods II said.

But thanks to federal stimulus money, every operable fountain will be back on this year.

The department marked the beginning of the 2021 fountain season Tuesday by turning on the Delbert J. Haff Circle Fountain near the entrance of Swope Park.

The Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners is requesting $7 million from the city's allotment of the latest COVID-19 relief package to restore the fund.

The $7 million currently is included in a bigger plan on how the city will spend $195 million from the federal stimulus.

Jack Holland, president of the Board of Commissioners, said fountains play an important role in the community.

"These are in neighborhoods throughout the city, and they activate public spaces around them," Holland said. "They’re located near parks where people come to recreate, so it’s a very important element of the entire parks and recreation system."

The $7 million also will allow the department to open city pools and water and splash parks.

The City Council will discuss the spending plan in-depth and take a vote in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, seeing rushing water again is a step toward normalcy for the people of Kansas City.

"Kansas City, we’re strong people, and we’ve been through a lot, and we’re just part of history, that’s how I see it," Woods II said.