ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The downtown Albany fountain, in front of the Government Center, is under repair right now. It will cost about $30,000 to get the fountain flowing again.
We talked to a lot of people about the fountain, and everyone said it was beautiful, and wanted it working again. But when we told what it's costing, some had second thoughts.
Everyone we talked to said they think the downtown Albany fountain is a positive part of the community.
"I think it needs to be working. If it's going to sit here, as ugly as it is right now, it needs to have the water flowing." Deborah Scheer said
Albany Utility Board workers repairing the Gortatowsky Park fountain in front of the Government Center. After years of repair problems, city leaders researched what needed to be done so it was not an eyesore. They even considered converting it to other use.
"They looked at setting up some kind of a cafe style development, with a planter in the actual water fountain. That proved to be a bit too expensive," Utilities Manager Stephen Collier said.
But getting the fountain flowing again was the final decision, .and the best way was to completely replace everything. "The years of exposure to the elements. We are replacing all the wiring. Replacing all the pumps. All the valves. Putting in new screen devices. Lights. The works," Collier said.
Bernard Moore likes the fountain. "Oh yea. Yea. I like to see it when the fountain is flowing, and everything is beautiful," Moore said.
All the parts, equipment, and wiring has finally been collected, costing about 30 thousand dollars. When told the cost many had second thoughts.
"I don't know about that. Thirty thousand. Wow, geez. Well, spend a lot of money on everything else. Might as well spend it on that," Moore said.
Some thought it is a waste. "It will be attractive, but I really do believe that $30,000 can go toward something much more important," Dorothy Johnson said
Albany Utility Board workers are doing all the repairs, so that is saving money, and once it running water control employees will do the maintenance work."
City leaders say they have heard public demand for the fountain to be repaired, so it is being done. They hope to have the fountain flowing again in a few weeks.