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Ellis Lake's lighted fountain will stay on

The lighted fountain at Ellis Lake will continue running five nights a week thanks to community support.

The volunteer group Help Ellis Lake Prosper received donations from 19 people and is giving $3,600 to keep the fountain operating through the end of the year.

A staff report for the Marysville City Council recommended accepting the donation. Public Works Director Dave Lamon said in turn, there will be a budgeted adjustment.

"If they didn't give us the money, the fountain would have sat there silent for the year," Lamon said Thursday. "The donation comes in, we adjust the budget for electricity to allow us that additional operation. If we didn't adjust it, we'd be constrained by the budget we have."

Bruce Buttacavoli and Alan Sutfin are the leaders of H.E.L.P. Buttacavoli said he has received donations ranging from $15 to $1,200. The group did a test month to find out how much the system would cost, and determined it would be $300 per month.

"The H.E.L.P. group decided that it would raise enough money to run that, $3,600 a year, and we'd do it for three years with donations," he said. "After that, we'll see where the city's at budget-wise, to see if they can take it back over."

The cost over three years would be $10,800. Buttacavoli said H.E.L.P. has received $5,245 in donations.

Marysville supplied new light fixtures for the fountain, and H.E.L.P. volunteers coordinated the work, such as installing a new electrical system.

Buttacavoli said activity on Facebook helped spread the word about donations after a story was published in the Appeal-Democrat. He will present a check to cover the first year of fountain operations at the council's March 5 meeting.

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