Fountains across downtown Macon coming back to life

Things are wetter -- at least in downtown Macon-Bibb County -- just in time for summer’s last hurrah.

Defective fountains at parks and at other locations are in the process of getting repaired by the Macon-Bibb Parks & Beautification Department.

Some of them, like the fountain at Washington Park, haven’t worked in a long time.

“The one at Washington Park has not worked in over 40 years,” said Stephen Lawson, the department’s director. “The river part of it has worked, but there’s fountains that are in the stream that shoot up in the air, and we just recently got those fountains shooting back up again.”

A Knight Foundation Neighborhood Challenge grant of $10,000 helped with the repairs.

“Washington Park has had phenomenally attended Second Sunday concerts, and the fountain was just a pool of water,” said Chris Floore, assistant county manager of public affairs. “Now we’re going to have a water feature there that people can enjoy.”

Lawson said the Washington Park fountain is still a work in progress, which is why the Second Sunday events were moved to Coleman Hill for now.

For the most part, restoration work on the other fountains has been completed, but will continue to require maintenance.

“The (fountains) down Poplar Street, they’ve always had problems with leaks,” Lawson said.

The Atlanta Fountain Co. -- the company that installed them -- did a walk-through to highlight the fountains’ deficiencies so Macon-Bibb workers could repair them.

“We got all those back in working order,” Lawson said.

About $6,500 came out of the city budget for the fountain overhauls.

The fountain at Mulberry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is another one that had not worked in awhile.

“We got it working again for the first time in like three years,” Lawson said.

Several community members, he said, have reached out to county employees to share their joy over the restorations. “That’s pretty exciting,” he said.

Floore added that he’s also heard from newer Macon residents about their wish to have functional water displays.

“There’s an obvious community interest having fountains around town,” he said.

Another project in progress is a “water feature” in Daisy Park, off Forsyth Street near the basketball court. Estimates are that visitors will be able to play there in six to eight weeks.

“It’s hot in Georgia. People like water,” Floore said.

To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382 or find him on Twitter @davidcschick.