New parks at The Commons are nice despite dry fountain

I'm glad to see the spray fountains are working in the new park in The Commons. It's just too bad they're working after that long hot summer is over. I also noticed the new drinking fountain installed in the park, which should help a lot of thirsty local residents. I pushed the metal button on the bright orange fountain to check it out and no water came out. Did they forget to hook up the water supply?

— Jim P., Medford

After your question hit our desk, we sent our crack team of Since You Asked plumbing experts to Pear Blossom Park in The Commons.

There it was, the amazing orange drinking fountain standing in the bright sunshine along the north border of the park next to Sixth Street. It has two fountains in one unit, one for children and one for adults. One of our experts pushed one of the stainless steel buttons and waited for the water to spurt out. Nothing.

We contacted someone from the city who insisted the drinking fountain was working. A person from Lithia Motors said you had to push the button for five seconds, because it is designed to work even in freezing weather.

That made sense, so we gave the buttons another push. Ten seconds passed, then 30. Nothing. Perplexed we tried turning the buttons while pushing them in. Still nothing.

After a few moments we decided, yes, you are right, Jim, the drinking fountain still doesn't work. And, because of you, both the city and Lithia Motors, the project manager for the park, are aware of the situation and will try to resolve it.

By the way, Jim, the Medford Urban Renewal Agency board in May discovered that the park didn't have a drinking fountain and asked that one be installed.

Life isn't perfect, and these large projects often have their hiccups. But the first park is looking pretty good, and the second one is close to finished — it's supposed to be ready in time for a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony next month.

And by next summer, you should be able to drink out of the drinking fountain.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501 or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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