Fountain project a ‘go’
MANISTIQUE – After 7 long years, the fountain conceived by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs – Manistique will become a reality early next year. The club recently announced they have acquired enough funding to finally begin construction on what has been deemed “Living Waters”.
According to Sherri Krause, member of the club, the fountain was first proposed in 2007 by then-club chairperson Rosemary Sablack. In 2008, the group began investigating and researching fountains and their construction and cost.
The group came up with a mission their goal. statement in 2009 to encom pass
“At that time, in January 2009, they decided that the fundraising efforts would determine the scope of the project,” she said.
The original fountain committee of 13 members began working with the Manistique Downtown Development Authority, Manistique City Council, zoning board, and planning commission, among others, to work out the details of and get approval for the project.
“The initial design was quite elaborate and very expensive – without the water and electrical hook-ups, it was going to start at $60,000,” Krause said. “The committee decided to design a fountain that would reflect the area and the mission statement, be smaller, less expensive.”
The fountain approved in October 2009 was estimated to cost anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000. Krause said the final figure is closer to $30,000, and that the club has raised over $50,000 to date.
She noted that other than the designer of the fountain, all materials and contractors for the project are from the U.P.
“It’s going to represent the 15 counties – each in a different color,” she said. “Schoolcraft County is going to be outlined in copper. Manistique is going to be highlighted.”
To date, the club has around $26,000 left in the project’s fund to keep on hand for maintenance.
“That was one thing the city needed to know – that we had the money to finish the project,” she said. “We have just enough, so we’re going to still continue to do fundraising because we want to do some aesthetics.”
These aesthetic additions will include benches, a flower planter, and a security camera to monitor the fountain and, hopefully, prevent any vandalism. Krause explained the entire courtyard surrounding the fountain will be lined with bricks sold as a fundraiser. These bricks are engraved with the name of the person or organization donating, and are sold as either a 4x8 or an 8x8.
While 250 bricks have been sold to date, Krause said one sale in particular stands out in her mind. In 2010, she explained then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm visited the area to help the club with their groundbreaking and used a personal check to purchase a brick of her own.
“I was so surprised,” Krause said.
In April 2014, the construction on the fountain will begin in Triangle Park, and is expected to take just weeks to complete.
Krause said the DDA has agreed to pay electric and water usage for the fountain, but the club will have to have to pay for maintenance. She said the club will accept offers from any local group or individuals wishing to assist with the daily maintenance of the fountain.
To purchase a brick, obtain a form by contacting Krause at 341- 6701.