SEMINOLE — For a little piece of property, Seminole's newest park sure has created a lot of confusion.
At issue? The name.
Two weeks ago, council members voted to name it Seminole Water Tower Park, in honor of a city landmark that sits on the park property. Two days later, the county, which owns the park, sent word that it would be called Ridgewood Groves Park after a nearby subdivision.
Seminole officials were perplexed. Why would the county ask their opinion and then not heed it?
County officials were equally flummoxed. The name they chose was on a list that the city came up with, so what if it wasn't the council's first choice?
"It may not be the top choice of the board," said Alan Bollenbacher, interim director of general maintenance for the county. "But it's where we wanted to go."
The park is being developed as part of a renovation of the 50-year-old building on the property. The county is spending $650,000 for the project, most of which will go to hardening the building to withstand hurricanes so area residents would still be able to get water in the event of a major storm.
The general idea of the park, he said, was to honor the neighborhood next door in part because residents there have to put up with noise and other uproar from the tower site and in part because it's a neighborhood park, not a destination park that people from all over the county will come to.
"We want to commit to the neighborhoods," he said.
But City Council members had their reasons, too. They wanted to honor the water tower, the city's main landmark, which is painted to look like a giant birdcage.
But Seminole City Manager Frank Edmunds said, "It was clear all along (the name chosen) would only be a suggestion. … The utility certainly has the right to name their park whatever they choose."
So, Ridgewood Groves Park it is.
Bollenbacher said Tuesday he didn't realize how the council felt about the water tower.
He said he planned to take that information to his bosses. Given that, he said, there's a slight chance they might backtrack and go with Seminole Water Tower Park.
Now's the time to do it, if it's going to happen — no signs have been made.