More than two years has gone by after funding was provided to the Adams County Office of Economic Development office for splash pads in Adams County communities, the project remains incomplete. The basic public projects were inserted into the 2018 capital appropriations bill and approved in March 2018, as first reported in The Informer.
Splash pads have opened in the Village of Manchester, Village of Seaman, and Village of Peebles. On Tuesday, Holly Johnson, who serves as the Director of Economic Development office and the project champion was asked by West Union Village Council for a status. Johnson replied that the site would open very soon.
Recently, the state Capital Appropriations Budget has not come without controversy in Adams County. According to community leaders in 2018, the Adams County Economic Development Department did not notify local governments or organizations regarding the opportunities for state funding leaving several organizations without a chance to apply. When the funding was completed, the Wilson’s Children’s Home received an appropriation for upgrades to the building, however, eyebrows raised when it was determined that the person requesting the funding was Holly Johnson, Director of Economic Development, who also sits on the Board of Trustees of Adams County Children Services/Wilson Children’s Home.
The splash pads, celebrated by some and thought of as wasteful public spending by others has been deemed one of the worst capital budget requests in the entire state by the conservative Buckeye Institute in Columbus.