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State Rep. Mike Ball secures grant for new Dublin Park fountain

MADISON — Friends of Dublin Park is one step closer to raising enough money to replace a broken fountain at the entrance of Dublin Park thanks to a $2,000 grant secured by Rep. Mike Ball.

“We are very thankful to State House Representative Mike Ball, who has secured a grant specified for Fund the Fountain in the amount of $2,000,” said Margi Daly of FOD.

Ball, who represents much of Madison in District 10 of the Alabama House of Representatives, said he learned about the need for a new fountain through Daly. He also expressed his appreciation for grassroots efforts such as this.

“She (Daly) mentioned it to me, and she sent me an email with some information about what they were doing and how they were going about doing it, what they needed, and so we were able to find a little bit to help them,” he said.

FOD held a family-friendly fundraising event earlier this month at Dublin Park, which Daly said went over well with fun for all. She thanked all volunteers, vendors and participants who made the event a success, with special thanks to Kory Alfred, Kelly Johnson and Gayle Milam of the Parks and Recreation Department. “We could not have had [the] event without them,” she said.

Daly also said the group set up a donation account through Redstone Federal Credit Union called “Fund the Fountain.” Between the event and early donations in the account, the group has been able to raise more than $1,000.

The Madison Parks and Recreation Department deemed the broken fountain that sits at the entrance of Dublin Park “unfixable,” according to Daly, so one of FOD’s biggest areas of focus at the moment is raising money to replace it. The department estimated the new fountain would cost about $12,000, which Parks and Recreation Director Kory Alfred said was not in the budget. With FOD spearheading the effort, however, a new fountain could cost as low as $6,000-$8,000 since the group would not have to go through a bidding process.

“It’s important for the fish, and to cut down on the turtles because the turtles live in the muck, and if we don’t have a fountain, it’s nothing but muck out there,” Daly explained. “We have a lot of snapping turtles, but it’s good for the fish, the ducks, and also it’s aesthetically pleasing just to pull up to Dublin and see the fountain there. It’s right in the front.”

Daly said the new stainless steel fountain will have a self-filtering system and be made in the USA. It will also have a warranty of five years.

With the grant, FOD is about halfway to their fundraising goal. Daly said they hope to have the fountain fully funded by March and will hold a dedication in the spring after the new fountain is installed.

“They’ve still got a little ways to go, but I think they’re going to be able to get it, and I think it’ll be nice for that little lake for years to come,” Ball said. “… It’s one of those things that it’s nice to see that people are out there—when they’re doing things, it’s nice to know that we can find a little help to help them along.”

Those interested in donating to the cause may do so in person at Redstone Federal Credit Union or at an ATM with the account #51015260835. The name of the account is “Fund the Fountain.”

“Every person that donates will know they helped put it there when they pass or enter Dublin Park,” Daly said.

She also mentioned that they have reached out for funds from other sources as well. In the meantime, FOD will also work to better Dublin Park in other ways. They have helped to bring CERT emergency management classes to the park, which will begin in January.

To keep up with FOD and their efforts, join their public group on Facebook, “Friends of Dublin Events Madison Al.” To become a member of FOD, request to join their private Facebook group, “Friends of Dublin Park (FOD).”

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