GREENFIELD — An effort to build a splash pad at Riley Pool in Greenfield is getting financial support from the city.

Greenfield City Council members have preliminarily approved spending $30,000 to pay a design company to create a conceptual plan and estimate the cost of building a splash pad, the first step toward bringing plans to fruition.

The project is in its infancy, and the park board has tapped Mader Design of Indianapolis to create a rough plan for what the splash pad might look like and what it could cost.

The city council plans to take $30,000 from the economic development income tax fund to pay for the work. An ordinance appropriating the additional funds is expected to receive final approval in coming weeks.

By approving the funding needed to pay for the planning phase of the project, the council is showing it supports much-needed renovations at the pool, said Ellen Kuker, director of the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department.

“It’s definitely a positive sign,” Kuker said.

City officials formed a committee this year to begin looking at options for expanding offerings at the community pool. They’re eyeing land immediately south of the current facility for the project and hope construction will start after the pool closes for the season next year. If all goes as planned, the splash pad would open in the summer of 2018.

While surrounding communities have added slides, splash features and lazy rivers to make their community pools feel more like water parks — features that are attractive to young families — Greenfield’s city-owned pool has seen few updates since it opened in the 1980s.

A splash pad would bring residents of all ages to Riley Pool, officials said.

Kuker hopes cost estimates and a conceptual plan are available for the city council by September. At that time, the council will be able to decide whether it’s a project the city can afford and further discuss how to pay for it.

Before the city can make a decision about whether to build a splash pad, council members need to have an idea of how much it would cost and what it would look like, said council president Gary McDaniel.

It’s a project he’s open to supporting, but he needs all the details first, he said.

“I’m not going to give away the checkbook, … but we’re going to look at it,” he said.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or