The much-needed campaign to breathe new life into nine Kansas City fountains has made notable progress.
In 17 months, the “Wish Upon a Fountain” effort has raised about half the money need to meet its updated goal of $2.9 million. It’s good to see private interests step forward to help finance critically needed repairs.
However, it’s good to remember that the fountains are public assets. Parks and Recreation Department officials and City Council members every year should strive to spend the taxpayer funds required to properly maintain the city’s 48 waterworks.
Fortunately, with the guidance of the City of Fountains Foundation, private money will be used to make major repairs to the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain on the east entrance to the Country Club Plaza and to finally fix the nearby Seville Light Fountain.
The work isn’t cheap. For example, Plaza owner Highwoods Properties is contributing $500,000 to renovate the Seville Light Fountain. That’s a good way for Highwoods to make the Plaza more inviting at its eastern end.
This private fundraising is appropriate and praiseworthy; more information is at www.kcfountains.com.
Still, Kansas City’s status as the “City of Fountains” is damaged every time city officials fail to keep water flowing in these pieces of art. Maintaining the fountains needs to be a higher priority at City Hall.