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Fountain a source of debate in Fountain Hills

The famous Fountain Hills fountain is shown. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. - Some Fountain Hills businesses are calling for more action from one of the Valley's most famous landmarks.

For 15 minutes every hour between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., the fountain centerpiece of the town shoots water more than 300 feet into the air. The fountain has three pumps. If all three are activated, the water can go as high as 560 feet into the air, but to save money, only two pumps are used.

Business owners say that tourists who come to Fountain Hills to see the attraction are frustrated that they didn't get there in time, and don't want to stick around for the next show. The businessmen and women are suggesting that at least one pump be left on so that something is happening with the fountain, with the second and third pumps being used for a more spectacular show once an hour.

"I think that there's a feeling that some businesses feel that even if one pump was running, it would show that it is the famous Fountain Hills fountain," said Town Manager Ken Buchanan, adding that would cost far more than the $150,000 that the town has budgeted for the fountain.

Buchanan said the town is trying to come up with a solution.

"Currently, we're working with the Fountain Hills Sanitary district with the potential of an intergovernmental agreement to operate the lake [that the fountain is in the middle of]," he said. "There's some opportunities there."

Buchanan said it could be several months before the town council decides what to do about the situation.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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