KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Fountain Day has arrived, and Kansas City will be living up to its reputation.
Kansas City has been the City of Fountains since the early 1900s, and it costs millions of dollars to upkeep the fountains. Sometimes tax dollars are the root and other times it's private donations.
The million-dollar repairs to the Meyer Circle Sea Horse Fountain in 2017 were almost all private donations. It just underwent more repairs recently. The $30,000 needed came from the Kansas City Missouri Parks and Recreation Department
The winter weather took a toll on the fountain and the bowl collapsed. There were repairs to be done under the fountain as well.
The City of Fountains Foundation says it is costly to repair the old fountains to their former glory, but it is important because it is part of Kansas City’s identity.
Fountain Day festivities will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Delbert J. Haff Circle Fountain at Swope Park which just underwent $1.4 million in repairs. That was paid for in general obligation bonds, city dollars and private donations.
“It seems like every time we do a cost estimate on it, we think it’s going to be, like if we say it’s going to be $500,000 for it, it’ll probably end up being $1.2 million to $1.4 million or something like that when it’s all said and done,” said City of Fountains Board Chairman Patrick Dunn. “It’s just really hard to estimate how much it’s going to cost until you start poking around and realize how much needs to be replaced.”
The oldest fountain built by the city was at 15th Street and Martin Lutheran King Jr. Boulevard (formerly The Paseo) built in 1899. It was destroyed in 1941, so the oldest existing fountain is the Women’s Leadership Fountain on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and East Ninth Street, also built in 1899.