CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Cape Coral Code Enforcement Officers shut down a church's baptismal fountain after finding out the public has been using it as a pool.
The fountain at Cape Christian's Fellowship Park used to be splashing with kids, and now it's completely empty. It's surrounded by cones with a sign telling visitors it's unsafe to swim in. The fountain didn't meet city codes, and the church wants to change that.
"This is just a little bit of a speed bump in that way," Brett Furlong, Executive Pastor of Cape Coral Fellowship, said. "We're excited to get through this process - get it up to public pool standards - so we can have it as a new feature that we never anticipated.""
Furlong added that this is a blessing in disguise.
"We want it to be able to be a safe spot for kids. I have three little kids, and my kids love to be in there too," he said.
Cape Christian Fellowship spent over $2 million building the park for the public to enjoy; a price the church was happy to pay.
"It is our heartbeat to see families just enjoy themselves out here," Furlong said. "And we love that so many are enjoying themselves on a daily basis."
But the cost to turn the fountain into a pool is a big one: $20,000.
"We're going to start a crowdsourcing fund to see if we can get the community to kind of rile behind us." Furlong told Fox 4.
Alex Crowther, a park visitor, was sad to see the fountain closed today.
"When they're closing that pool... it's kind of like closing a part of their happiness," Crowther said.
Crowther's Grandma told Fox 4 she's glad to see the church responding to what the public wants.
"I am very happy to find out that they are going to be putting chemicals in the water to make it safe for the kids to swim in there, because they really enjoyed going in there," she said.
Cape Christian Fellowship wants the public to know the water in the fountain has always been safe to swim in. They added extra staff to keep it in check. Furlong expects teh project to be done in a couple of months.