HAMLET — The installation of a new fountain this week and planned playground are the latest improvements in the renovation of City Lake.
Updated electric lines were ran out to the site Monday and Tuesday and the Hamlet Fire Department took the rescue boat on the lake Wednesday to install the fountain, according to City Manager Jonathan Blanton.
The fountain, which is lit up at night with LED lights, cost $5,700 and was paid from the Parks and Recreation Building and Grounds budget from money left over from a vehicle purchase, Blanton said.
Last week, Blanton announced the city had been awarded a $12,000 recreation grant through GameTime/Cunningham Recreation for the construction of a playground at the lake.
Blanton said he had been in talks with them about the grant since August and it was finalized Oct. 31.
“The City is incredibly appreciative of the generosity of GameTime/Cunningham Recreation and look forward to providing a safe and attractive amenity for children at the Hamlet City Lake,” Blanton said in a statement.
The playground, which will be located between two oak trees near the caboose, will feature a piece of equipment with several slides on a rubber mat, instead of rubber mulch like the other parks.
Blanton said he expects installation to begin within the next four to six weeks.
The city began cleaning up around the lake in late July.
In mid-August, the city worked out a donation-purchase deal with Vulcan Materials for 800 tons of rip-rap stone to line the lake “in order to promote a fresh, clean, and neat looking shoreline.”
In September, Scotland County artist Stuart Carmichael completed the mural near the Hamlet Senior Center, with a last-minute addition featuring the likenesses of late City Council member Joe Robinson and his grandchildren.
Last month, Duke Energy began installing LED lighting to make things brighter and save the city a little money on the power bill, and the Bowtie for Boys Club at Fairview Heights Elementary created wildlife viewing signs that were installed on the west side of the lake.
At the September City Council meeting, Blanton outlined a master plan for the park which also includes:
- improving the integrity of the existing dam, at the request of the state;
- the addition of a recreational “splash pad” located between the senior center and the old VFW;
- an extension of the existing walking trail;
- more picnic areas;
- boardwalk extensions; and
Blanton said he hopes to have the draft of the master plan finished by the end of the year so the city can start applying for grants in 2020 to help fund improvements.