Penrose Fountain Stirs Controversy

City officials are asking, but many simply aren't listening. Residents continue to cool off in Julie Penrose fountain and City officials are working on a solution that could include pulling down "keep out" signs.

For parents like Della Garelle running through a city fountain is one sure fire way to keep kids happy as temperatures rise.

"It's natural. Kids. Water. Hot day," said Garelle.

It may be natural, but it clearly goes against the city's posted wishes pasted on keep out signs on the water’s edge.

"Hey, I'm a teacher. I can't believe people can't read and follow directions. What's the problem?" asked Rita Steinhauer.

The problem isn't with the attention Julie Penrose fountain is getting: it's stopping a wave of indifference now it's started.

"Unless they start ticketing and fining people [only then] they'll be able to keep kids out of here," said Rebekah Barnes.

Right now the fountain is paying the price.

"We're delighted people are fascinated with and using the fountain, but that use, actually being in the water is causing a filtering problem for us," said Paul Butcher, the City’s Director of Parks and Recreation

Butcher says contractors have a mess on their hands. The sprayers within the centerpiece aren't spraying as they should and filters are choked with debris.

But Butcher says a solution is in progress.

"We're going to get those filters up and running so the clogs and hair and pieces of wood chips don't cause the fountain to shut down,” Butcher said.

What remains to be seen is if the solution could include a compromise.

"We're adaptable. We'd like to do what our citizens want us to do. We're working on it," said Butcher.

Cooling off in this water is still technically against the rules, but as the turnout keeps up, the public has spoken.

"Kids. A hot day. You can't keep them apart," said Garelle.

Butcher says upper administration within the parks and rec office will discuss possible solutions Thursday and have a better idea of what comes next by the end of the day.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jeremy Location: Briargate on Jun 23, 2007 at 08:42 PM
    Oh come on. It is not the planners' fault that people can't read or be respectful. If you took kids to an art gallery and they started to play with things, is it the artist's fault for not planning on people playing with it? No. It was not intended for people to play with. Same goes for the fountain, they even went as far as to make sure people knew its intentions by posting signs. People need to learn to obey rules and respect authority.
  • by D Location: C/S on Jun 23, 2007 at 11:57 AM
    You would think by now the city would do some reasearch before they build things like this! They spent how much money making this fountain and know it will sit there untill some figure something out? what a waste that money could of been used for so many other things! but once again we waste our money on making a crappy part of down town look pretty for what? A unused fountain! Reseach people ask the people who live here what they want! instead of doing things u want!
  • by Bobby Location: Colorado Springs on Jun 22, 2007 at 08:36 PM
    People need to follow the rules. They can't just pick and choose what rules appeal to them. This citizen says "it's natural" Well so is driving a car, lets not stop for those pesky red lights!
  • by Rob Location: C/S on Jun 22, 2007 at 11:39 AM
    I dont get why this is an issue. The rules for the fountain state "stay out of water". Why do people start blaming the planners? I totally agree with Richard about how this is just another rule that C/S residents think they can ignore, then pass the blame to someone else when THEY break the rules... Basically it comes down to, some people should have respect for rules and property and this wouldnt even be an issue. Ok im done sounding like a crab, haha. Have a fun and safe summer everyone!
  • by Mike, C on Jun 21, 2007 at 02:52 PM
    The people that had the grand idea to build the fountain obviously have no common sense. They expect people to read signs and obey rules...... Put a fence around it and charge $1 to enter and use the money to maintain the filters. Problem is solved.
  • by Richard Location: Colorado Springs on Jun 21, 2007 at 12:47 PM
    Just another law that some residents of Colorado Springs believe they can ignore. I'm all for people having a good time but at the expense of having to constantly clean and maintain the fountain? I guess that expense can be paid by fines. That should be price you pay to keep cool. Have a fun summer!
  • by JC Location: Colorado Springs on Jun 21, 2007 at 08:04 AM
    The City won't will this one. The fountain is far too inviting and impressive to keep the kids out. Ticketing people doesn't speak well of our community's camaraderie and unity. The problem was when the designers thought people could possibly resist a temptation of such magnitude. The fountain screams: “Come play with me!”
  • by Troy Location: Colorado Springs on Jun 21, 2007 at 05:46 AM
    This just shows how stupid people are. There should be laws on who can have children. Take your kids to pee Wilber fountain.
  • by Bill Location: Iraq on Jun 21, 2007 at 05:02 AM
    The things that make such a big controversy in our lives, when you decided to put a fountain in the first thing that should be decided on is as to whether or not you are going to allow people to get in and enjoy or not. Sounds like bad planning to me. Children are supposed to have fun and if they have direct access 9 out of 10 times they will do whatever it is. Put up a fence or just take down the signs and allow the kids to be kids!
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