Donations, tax dollars will help keep city's fountains running - KCTV5

Donations, tax dollars will help keep city's fountains running

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The city will turn on its famous fountains on Tuesday, and efforts are underway to keep the fountains flowing for years to come.

Voters in August approved a tax that will help pay for the fountains' upkeep. But the tax won't cover all the costs, and some are hoping to raise the needed funds through donations.

Jean-Paul Chaurand, parks board president, said the infrastructure is aging. Rust, oxidation and leaks are causing an overflow of costly problems.

A fountain near the Country Club Plaza needs $500,000 in repairs. A fountain near Volker and Oak needs $650,000 in repairs, which is the highest amount of needed repairs.

The City of Fountains Foundation is raising private donations.

"It's a lot of money, but we made a decision early on as a city that fountains were going to be part of who we are in terms of our heritage, of our culture," Chaurand said.

Foundation member Anita B. Gorman said the tax dollars help keep the fountains thoroughly cleaned and ensure they receive maintenance on a routine basis.

"It does not cover the big expenses like a new motor or when a sculpture needs touching up," she said. "And those are expensive."

Because of tough economic times, budget cuts have meant fewer funds for amenities like fountains.

The foundation will release later this week more details on the private fundraising campaign including an effort to allow businesses to adopt fountains.

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