The Ripley Park Pond, located on the eastern most portion of E.
L. Ripley Park, has been a cornerstone of Marceline’s rich history. Until
recently, the pond has been used for recreation activities – and many fond
memories can be found among long-time residents. When the
Ripley Park Pond was rebuilt over the past 2 years thanks to a generous donation
from a local resident, features were added to make it an aesthetically pleasing
feature in the park, to include the fountain, bridge, irrigation to the
surrounding flora, etc. With those features come electrical conduits and
plumbing. Chemicals are also routinely added to prohibit algae growth and
to ensure a visually appealing appearance.
During this fall’s winterization and maintenance of the pond, it
was noted by staff that fishing hooks have been found hooked into the electric
conduits, wrapped around the fountain and other plumbing features, and drop
lines hanging from the bridge – any of which could potentially cause expensive
damage to these features. Because of exposure to chemicals, fish caught in
the pond would not be edible. Although not yet seen in the pond since its
rebuild, swimming in the pond could potentially damage equipment and be a danger
City Staff’s concerns were brought to the attention of the City
Council during its regular meeting on December 19th, 2017 whereas the
Council directed the City Manager to prepare an ordinance prohibiting fishing
and swimming in the Park Pond for consideration at the next meeting. At
the regular meeting on January 16, 2018, the Marceline City Council voted
unanimously to adopt Ordinance 18-01.01 which adds Section 245.060 to the
Marceline Code of Ordinances as follows:
SECTION 245.060: USE OF E. L. RIPLEY PARK POND
The taking of or pursuing of fish or other game species from the
Park Pond, using any method, is prohibited.
No person shall swim, wade or otherwise enter the Park Pond.
No person shall allow or permit any domestic animal owned by such
person or under the control of such person to enter the Park Pond.
Any person found in violation hereof shall be fined as follows:
for violations committed within a twelve-month period beginning with the first
violation: two hundred dollars for the first violation, two hundred
seventy-five dollars for the second violation, three hundred fifty dollars for
the third violation, and four hundred fifty dollars for the fourth and any
subsequent violations. Any such fine shall include court costs.
Paragraph 3. of the Ordinance relating to domesticated animals
was added based on a recommendation from Councilwoman Natalie Wellman due to
concerns that because of the varied water levels and chemical additives, pets
entering the pond would not be able to safely egress and subsequently drown.
Pets entering the pond with a leash still attached could also potentially find
it wrapped around the fountain feature or the drain overflow pipe.
In the decision-making process, the City Council was mindful of
the inherent dangers to the public and for the protection of the equipment that
help make the Ripley Park Pond a valuable asset to the community.
“A large investment was made through a donation by a local
resident, in coordination with efforts by the City, Downtown Marceline, and
other civic organizations,” said Mayor Jeri Holt. “This ordinance will
help protect that investment as well as the general public.”
“The prohibition of fishing and swimming in the Ripley Park Pond
may not be a hot topic during the current cold winter temperatures, but the
public should be made aware before the spring and summer months,” added City
Manager Richard Hoon.
The City will post signs of the prohibition at locations around
the pond to ensure additional public awareness.
# # #