The City of Powell has announced the departure of one of its more prominent figures: The beloved frog that used to oversee a pond named after him has been removed and put up for sale to the highest bidder.
The former Frog Pond, meanwhile, is being reclaimed as a grassy area at Homesteader Park.
Two years ago, the pond was closed due to ballooning costs. City Administrator Zane Logan said safety requirements — including hiring lifeguards and complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act — would have cost almost as much as rebuilding the whole thing.
At the time they closed the pond, city leaders suggested it could be replaced with a splash pad, which would become the new home of the Powell Frog. However, Logan said the project just wasn’t feasible; the cost was estimated to be $150,000 to $200,000.
“We just don’t have the money, and there are no revenues,” said Logan, who’s retiring this month.
City workers have begun reclaiming the pond.
“We’ve already hauled Froggy off,” Director of Public Works Gary Butts solemnly announced at a budget meeting last week.
Over the next few months, the city will remove the concrete and pumphouse at the pond. The hole will be filled with topsoil, with grass planted over that. The work is being done in-house.
The Powell Frog, meanwhile, now sits on the lot of the city’s shop, along with bundles of cardboard, mounds of gravel and unused city vehicles.
It’s being auctioned off online, along with other surplus city property — including three trucks, an old generator, knives and various other items.
Anyone interested in owning a bona-fide, giant-tongued frog slide can bid on the item at www.publicsurplus.com through 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 23. There’s no reserve. As of midday Monday, the “large frog slide” — listed in “good” condition — had drawn a $1 bid.