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Milton business' donation makes big splash for project

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
December 7, 2011
— Milton's proposed splash park got a fundraising boost from one of the city's newest industries.

Penn Color announced plans Tuesday to donate $5,000 toward the cost of building the splash park in South Goodrich Park.


The city is in preliminary planning phases for the $350,000 splash park, but the Milton City Council imposed a contingency of $100,000 in community donations before the project can move from planning to construction.


The splash park would be geared toward families with children.


Penn Color's donation Tuesday pushes the total fundraising for the splash park to $20,000, City Administrator Jerry Schuetz said.


That total includes both in-hand donations and commitments from donors, Schuetz said.


Penn Color's announcement came after a tour of the plant by the city council on Tuesday.


The plant, which is located at 1474 Putman Parkway, produces colorants for plastic products. It opened in July under a development agreement with the city, and employs 14 people with plans over the next two years to expand operations and grow employment to as many as 30 workers, said Tom Cramer, the plant's general manager.


Cramer said Penn Color wanted to donate to the splash park project to show the city and residents that it is a partner in the community.


"When we move into a community, we put down roots right away," Cramer said.


The Goodrich Square Steering Committee; the city; the Milton Area Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism; and the Milton School District are partnering on the fundraising campaign that started this fall.


Schuetz said the city council in spring 2012 could impose a deadline for donations. The city's goal is to start construction sometime next year.


The fundraising campaign is aimed at residents, businesses and local industries. Some local businesses and restaurants are selling themed items with proceeds going toward the splash park project.


Schuetz said the city plans to post a sign in Goodrich Park to show fundraising progress, and the city soon will release a list of donors and amounts collected.


Meanwhile, the school district is planning school-based fundraisers linked to the splash park campaign. The Gathering Place, a senior activity center in Milton, is planning an adult prom fundraiser, although no date has been set, Schuetz said.


If the campaign cannot reach the $100,000 goal, Schuetz said the council could consider returning money to private donors and delaying the project.


He said the council also could ask private donors if they wanted to apply the donations to other projects.



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