LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Problems with a splash pad built by Phoenix Construction has the company’s owner offering the City of Lynn Haven $75,000.
Earlier this month, News 13 reported that city workers discovered leaks and pipe problems at the James Finch Splash Pad in March of 2022. They attempted to make repairs themselves, but the problems resurfaced last August. City leaders have talked of demolishing the splash pad and replacing it with a skate park but the council has not yet voted on the issue.
City officials said the cost to repair the park is about $100,000.
After News 13 uncovered the issue, Finch said he was not aware of the problems. He did confirm that the job was offered to him after the bid process was concluded and that his company was not required to go through the bid process.
He sent a letter to the city last week.
“The City of Lynn Haven approved my company, Phoenix Construction Services, Inc. asking for my help making the splash pads a reality for the citizens. I agreed to take on the obligation for $400,000, knowing that the City had received bids that were in excess of $500,000.” Finch wrote. “I finished both splash pads; they were inspected and approved by the city before Hurricane Michael hit. I did the work and spent over $70,000 of my own money making this a reality for the children.”
Finch added that he did not do the work so that the park would be named after him but instead, so that he could see the smiles and laughter of children enjoying the park.
“It is because I would like to see that continue that I am offering to donate $75,000 towards the repairs and improvements the City needs to make on the splash pads,” Finch wrote. “If this donation is accepted, the City can use City employees to complete the improvements and repairs and I will provide only the donation offered herein.”
Finch added that if the city decided to remove the splash pad he has no objections.
“However, if the City is interested in my donation for the splash pads, I am available if there are any questions, or if further discussion is required.”
City officials declined to comment on the letter, however, they confirmed that it is likely to be discussed at a future City Commission meeting.
You can read the letter below: