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KC Parks and Rec shuts down several fountains early due to high water bill

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 18:59:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Kansas City residents who frequent the the city’s many parks may have noticed a few of the 48 fountains have been turned off earlier than usual this year.

KC Parks and Recreation says the cost to maintain and run the fountains have gone up due to rising water prices. According to the department, this has led to four fountains being shut off in the last week.

Diane Faelber, a Kansas City resident, said she was upset to drive by Kessler Park a week ago and see the Concourse Fountain turned off.

The fountain was built to flow every day of the year — through sun and snow.

We’ve started contacting 311. I sent messages through the app, but we’ve gotten nothing but different answers," Faelber said. “People are furious. They’re fed up. This is not a second-class neighborhood."

Faelber has taken her concerns to the parks board, but she said a member told her the city had gone over its water budget.

To her, the Concourse Fountain is a gathering point for the neighbors who live near the park. After countless meetings and grants to get it built, Faelber said area residents wish the city would give their neighborhood's landmark a proper display.

Since the fountain has gone dry, graffiti has started to pop up. Community members like Faelber are angry at the prospect of having to clean it. They've worked hard to restore it to its pristine condition after similar acts of vandalism.

“This is the oldest park in the city. This is the foundation of the parks system in this city," Faelber said. "Take care of it."