I Wonder: what happens to coins thrown into fountains?

I Wonder: what happens to coins thrown into fountains?

Credit: Don Day/KTVB.COM

The fountain at Boise City Hall is a collector for change spent on wishes -- but not much.


by Don Day KTVB.COM

Bio | Email | Follow: @DonLDay


Posted on July 27, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 at 2:27 PM

What happens to the change people throw in the fountains at City Hall and Ann Morrison?- Amanda Holloway

BOISE - Before we figure out where the coins have gone - 6pm news producer Haley Williams is pretty sure she knows where they don't go.

"They don't go to the wish fairy," she said matter-of-factly.

Years of throwing my pennies and nickels into the fountain - and you're telling me there isn't some mythic creature somewhere collecting the coinage and dolling out wishes?

While I get over my disappointment, let's get to the real answer. We contacted Adam Park with the City of Boise. He did some checking around on the fountain funds.

The most prominent water shooter is located on the corner of Capitol and Idaho Streets downtown. It was part of an early 1990s city hall plaza revamp. The fountain has been collecting change for years - nearly two decades. So you'd think the City of Boise would have a massive haul to donate to a worthy cause, pay for an improvement or maybe lower our taxes.

The simple answer... not so much.

"We collect about $20 a year from the fountain is all," Park said. "They've actually been storing that up. It's not a lot of money - so over the years they've saved it."

Twenty bucks a year? So how much is that altogether?

"It's up to about $190 is the total now."

Park says the coins were long stored in five gallon drums -- meaning years worth of wish-bound coins were sitting in storage. That quarter you flipped in 1994 wishing for fame and fortune was stored. But the city recently decided to put all the money into the bank.

So what's the plan for the funds?

"We'll wait until the amount rises to a higher level when something significant can be purchased with the money," Park said.

The Ann Morrison Park fountain - with its tall raised platforms - doesn't gather a significant amount of coins according to Park.

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