City fountain gets minor makeover

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 1, 2005

When most city landmarks need a fresh coat of paint, there’s not much more hassle than getting out the ladders and paintbrushes. When it’s the figures and sculpture in the middle of the city fountain, though, things get a little more complicated.

“We have to do this every few years,” says city horticulturalist Linda Teaford. “The Fire Department comes in and helps us get ready.”

Why the Fire Department? Because painting the fountain means taking out all of the fountain’s water–and all the fish that live in it. The Demopolis FD carefully removes the fish, places them in a collection of children’s swimming pools for safekeeping, and cares for them until the fountain is ready to be refilled.

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“They take good care of the fish,” says Teaford.

After the fish are safe and sound and the Fire Department has drained the water from the fountain, the city’s painters can come in and do their jobs. Teaford says that with the bright sunshine and clear skies, this week is a great time for the fountain to be worked on.

The work being done on the fountain is just touch-up work, she adds, as the fountain has been well-maintained and is structurally sound despite dating back to the turn of the century.

“The fountain’s in good shape,” she says. “The ladies just need a facelift.”

Once the work is done, the Fire Department will refill the fountain and things will go on as usual-until the next time the carved ladies need another facelift.