- Associated Press - Saturday, August 16, 2014

HAMMOND, La. (AP) - Hammond officials are working with a business to develop a plan to renovate the Waldo E. Burnam Fountain downtown.

The fountain is on the west side of the railroad tracks that divide the town.

Mayor Mayson Foster told The Daily Star (http://bit.ly/1uJX8We) that no formal presentation has been made to the city yet on the proposal and there is no timeline for when any work would be done.

The fountain has been out of operation for about three years after it was vandalized, Downtown Development District director Terry Lynn Smith said. It has no water inside it and is instead filled with plants.

“We were shocked and devastated by what happened because we see it every day,” Smith said. “We had lights on there that would change colors with the seasons.”

Smith said the development district finished an $8,000 renovation on the fountain shortly before the vandals struck to repair it from previous vandalism.

“The fountain was discontinued because people kept throwing things in it and we couldn’t keep it up,” Foster said. “We would love to see it back in order.”

Smith said the fountain honors Burnam, who operated a restaurant on Thomas Street in the mid-20th century. The fountain was donated by the Civitan Club. Burnam served as the group’s president in 1966, according to a marker near the fountain.

For now, the plan is to put in additional plants to give the fountain more color. Smith said the development district is not considering paying for its renovation due to past vandalism.

The development district is also planning a pavilion in the downtown area. Smith said the organization is scouting possible locations. The pavilion could be used for many public events.

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Information from: The Daily Star, http://www.hammondstar.com

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