9-year-old goes before Our Town Asbury's city council to fight for splash pad hours

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ASBURY, Iowa (KCRG) -- The Splash Pad at Cloie Creek Park in Our Town Asbury opened in 2018. It's as popular is it is rare- it's the only one in town. But for one civic-minded nine years old, something about this hot spot wasn't quite right.

"We wanted to play in the splash pad after we ate, and when we finished, we only got to play in the splash pad for like two minutes," Charlie Spahn said.

Spahn and his family had just finished dinner one summer night but didn't have time to even really get wet. The Splash Pad was open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. The schedule just didn't jive with the Spahns.

"And he was like, 'Ugh, the splash pad is going to already be closed,' and so I kind of said, 'Here's the deal, we can either keep complaining about it or we can try to change it'. And he was like, 'I think we should try to change it. What do we do?' So really he was the one that kind of sought out the change and then we just kind of directed him," Karah Spahn, Charlie's mom, said.

"First we thought about it a little bit and then we wrote a letter and went to the city council and then after that, we just waited to see if they would change the hours," Charlie Spahn said.

He read his letter to the council and they considered his request. In the end, the city did extend the hours, opening two hours earlier at 9 a.m. and closing an hour later, at 7 p.m.

"So Charlie did a really good job," Asbury Mayor Jim Adams said. "And we did make the change based on the suggestion best we could and sent him a letter thanking him for his time [and] for bringing it to our attention how missed that those hours were not really conducive to a family using a splash pad."

"We have had a couple of people tell us, 'Oh, we've never been able to go before on the weekdays, so this is going to be so fun.' So that's kind of fun to hear," Karah Spahn said.

"More families are able to cool off and it's more fun," Charlie Spahn said. "Like you can play on it longer and you can have breakfast and then come, and you can have supper and then come,"