The county could soon ask residents to weigh in on options for putting a public swimming pool and a hand-carved carousel that’s been years in the making at Stodden Park on Butte’s south side.
Parks Director E. Jay Ellington said information about the options is still “very preliminary” and not ready for presentation, but he has picked a preliminary date of Feb. 23 to hold a forum for citizens to review them. He declined to say anything more.
But Commissioner Dennis Henderson said Wednesday that the idea of having a public pool and a carousel next to each other at Stodden Park was discussed at the last Parks Board meeting this month. They even talked about how concessions might be handled, he said.
And Ellington has drawn up a draft lease agreement between the county and the group that has spent 19 years seeking to build a carousel in Butte. He said it was only a “rough draft” and has not been reviewed by the county attorney.
The carousel group details much of its proposal in a request seeking all $68,000 of the county’s economic development mill levy this year. The Montana Standard first reported on that proposal last week.
The Spirit of Columbia Gardens Carousel Foundation says it started working with Ellington this past summer and looked at 25 possible locations for the carousel. It says its preference for Stodden Park is based on numerous factors, including other attractions and a proposed pool.
It’s an established park, the proposal says, with restrooms, parking, lighting, a pavilion, utilities, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, ball parks and a golf course, among other things. It also has available land and is maintained by the county.