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Lanett City Council activates fountain downtown

LANETT — For some time now, Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy has been looking for something special the city would be known for.

He may now have it in the form of a downtown fountain that can jet sprays of water some 15 feet in the air and can be illuminated at night with any appropriate colors. For Monday’s dedication, it was a patriotic red, white and blue. Should Lanett High win a state championship in football, basketball or track it can be black and gold. Should Springwood do something well, it can be red and white. It will be green on St. Patrick’s Day, red and green during the Christmas season, and pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“We wanted this to be a statement centerpiece for the city,” McCoy said. “I think it’s just that. I’m well pleased with the way it turned out.”

Monday’s dedication also marks an anniversary. Fifty years ago this month, the first downtown fountain was being built. The mayor’s father, the late Pete McCoy, was a Lanett councilman at the time, and was heading up the effort to have that fountain built in the summer of 1969.

The fountain is the work of brothers Hunter and Brandon Cook of Cook Tile Company of Valley.

It’s clear to anyone that they did an exceptional job. They were assisted by Matt Rushing and Tyler Lott.

The fountain’s bowl is about 30 feet across, 20 inches deep and holds 12,000 gallons of water. There are six water jets in the center of the pool. The middle one can send columns of water some 15 to 16 feet high. It’s circled by five more jets that send water some 10 to 12 feet high.

“It needs to run every day to keep algae from building up,” Hunter Cook, owner of Cook Tile Company. “Our plans are to run it from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. seven days a week. We had never done anything like this before, and we wanted it to be something people could judge the kind of work we do. We were under a microscope, and there was no room for error. If things didn’t work out right, everyone would see it. We filled it for the first time on Friday and gave it some test runs. We are really pleased with the way things are going so far. This is our baby, and we want it to work well.”

Cook said he wanted to say a special thank you to brother Brandon Cook and Matt Rushing.

“They were here every day,” he said. “It couldn’t have been done without them.”

Some really impressive rock work went into the bowl.

“It’s manufactured stone,” Cook said. “It’s all fabricated. We did it in our shop.”

He said it’s been a learning experience for the tile company, but it’s also been special for them.

“It’s been a special event for us,” Cook said. “We were confident it would go well, but you don’t know until you get it running.”

A crowd of city officials and passersby gathered around the bowl just past 7 p.m.

“Let’s do it,” McCoy said.

With that the jet sprays began shooting plumes of water 12 to 16 feet high with red, white and blue lights shining from the bottom of the pool.

“We can give it all kinds of different looks,” Brandon Cook said.

Two historical markers will be going on the northern tip of the triangle.

One is about Fob James being born in the city and the other about the history of Lanett. They were previously on display on the former triangle and will soon be going back up.

The old fountain has been sandblasted and will be going back in operation in Dean Park, which is located between the city hall complex and Tanyard Creek.