City Says No to Watering Downtown Plants

by Katie McGraw on February 26, 2013 at 6:32 am

The Muskingum Valley Garden Society is not happy tonight after a recent decision by the City of Zanesville.

Society Founder, Brian McLoughlin says he has been told the city will no longer water the planters in the downtown area. He says his group paid for the project, the least the city can do is water them.

"We think its a valuable service that we provide," said McLoughlin. "We feel it has a significant impact, not only on the downtown businesses but as the business community as a whole. It’s how we are perceived locally. If we want to bring new people into our community, new businesses, one of the main things they look at is green spaces."

Zanesville Public Service Director, Mike Sims says, the city realizes the value of the pots of plants in the downtown and their beauty, but they just don’t have the seasonal help to do the watering any more. Sims says because of a manpower shortage last year, Mayor Jeff Tilton would personally go around the downtown to water them. But with the city parks and two cemeteries it can no longer be done.

"You know the problem with that is, you dont get any consistency. You may value that just because you paid for that planter doesn’t mean you are going to go out and water that plant. And that’s the biggest thing, we provide that consistency, having that agreement with the city and us monitoring it; the baskets speak for themselves "

McLoughlin urges residents regardless of their stance on the flowers to voice their opinion to the Mayor or reach out to City Council. Sims says maybe downtown business owners can step up and water the plants, if they’re near their businesses. The flowers on the Y-Bridge will not be affected since they have an automatic watering system.