In a group effort between Main Street Paris and the Chamber of Commerce, a new drinking fountain has been installed at the Eiffel Tower Park.

PACC Director Tonya Baumgartner told The Express that the fountain idea was founded when she was researching adding a visitor sign on interstate 40 around Clarksville or Ozark exits but did not qualify due to the Paris Eiffel Tower Park not having a public drinking fountain.

"The conversations began with the Chamber Board of Directors, and they unanimously approved moving forward with the fees involved with putting the signup and the application process," said Baumgartner.

Baumgartner said the Main Street Board of Directors voted in favor of putting the fountain up.

"We were fortunate enough that the city was just as excited about it and granted permission for us to place the fountain on the lot."

According to Ideaswa, free water sources in public spaces were one of the significant progressive steps forward for civilization. Drinking fountains are a vital indicator of the relationship between people and place and accommodate all of a city's users, including tourists and pets. They also reduce dependence on environmentally degrading plastic bottles.

According to Baumgartner, the drinking fountain project has been a year-long process with finding a fountain that would fit the needs of the city.

"We wanted to have an eco-friendly water bottle filler as well as having handicap accessibility and we didn't wanna forget our furry friends with a water bowl at the bottom. Finding that set up was a long process."

Baumgartner is thrilled to have the project complete with the help of Kevin Berry leading the installation and to Chris Adams for installing the plumbing as a gift to the community.

"One thing about our community is when there's a need multiple people rise up to the occasion to get the job done."

With concerns on COVID-19, Baumgartner followed the necessary protocol and contacted the Arkansas Department of Health for any precautionary measures that would need to take place. "The superintendent I spoke with assured me that we were okay to use the fountain even with the COVID restrictions."

When asked about other upcoming projects for the downtown area, Baumgartner commented that there is not a day that goes by that the board doesn't have projects on the horizon. They are always looking for grant opportunities to make the projects a reality.