WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11: The water fountains in front of City Hall will be filled up with gravel and soil today so grass can be grown over them.
But City of Hamilton bosses say it is only a temporary measure and no final decision over the fate of the broken fountain will be made without input from the public.
Ed Benevides, the City’s chief operating officer, told the Bermuda Sun there was no money to pay for the $150,000 work needed to fix the water feature.
And he said the move to fill up the fountain area with gravel and soil was the most ‘inexpensive way’ of keeping the site safe for the time being.
Mr Benevides added: “We are not concreting the pond, as I have seen written on some blogs.
“The gravel and the soil can easily be scooped out at a later date once the views of the people of the city have been gauged.
“It is very important to stress this is just a temporary solution.
“No final decision about the future of the pond has been taken.
“We want to hear from people in the city and traders about what they feel should be done.”
Mr Benevides said the fountain in its present condition was ‘unsustainable’.
He added: “From the comments we have seen made about the fountain it seems that many people do not have all of the information.
“People do feel very emotive about it but many comments are not made on the basis of facts.
“We would have to be putting 20 loads of water into it every week in order to keep it going and that would cost between $70,000 and $90,000 a year.
“That is not sustainable.
“People do not realize that it was never designed to be a fountain. If we are going to repair it and put in a fountain again, then we need to put in a proper fountain with a proper system.
“Before I commit $150,000 to fix the fountain we want to find out what the city thinks should be done with it.
“Filling it for now is just a temporary solution to make the area safe.
“We think we will get some really good ideas from the public and a number of people and companies have come forward and asked us to discuss with them what the options are for the fountain.”