Work to proceed at playgrounds Council to look at equipping Point Park next year

After giving the go-ahead to proceed with installing playground equipment at three local parks, town council also agreed Monday night to consider replacing that which was removed from Pither’s Point Park last summer.
“That is an area where a lot of people from the community go,” said Mayor Dan Onichuk, referring to Pither’s Point Park.
“I’m constantly hearing from residents, ‘When are they going to replace the swings? Why is the chair roped off?’” he added.
Council agreed to include considering replacing the swing sets, teeter-totters, and slides at Pither’s Point in the 2006 budget process.
Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft said he also had made a verbal commitment at the July 11 council meeting to try and address the playground needs of the north end in next year’s budget.
He added he hopes the local Crime Stoppers board, which raised about $40,000 to go towards playground equipment for local parks in the past year, will be involved in a similar campaign next year.
The work on the three playgrounds at the Phair Avenue, Lillie Avenue, and Front Street parks already would have started except that council agreed to send the report regarding the playground projects back for review at its July 11 meeting.
That’s because the report detailed the installation of equipment at the Phair Avenue, Lillie Avenue, and Front Street parks, but did not mention Pither’s Point Park.
In a report back to council Monday night, Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown noted this wasn’t an oversight.
“As a result of the dispute over the ownership of the Pither’s Point Park property at this time, the Operations and Facilities executive committee is of the opinion that no upgrades to the playground equipment should be scheduled in 2005,” Brown said.
“It is the understanding of some members of the Operations and Facilities executive committee that council directed administration to maintain the Point Park property in a reasonable state of repair without any major capital work to be completed until the ownership issue is resolved,” he added.
“The installation of new playground equipment is considered to be a major capital expenditure.”
Since council approved the report Monday night, the equipment for the parks at Front Street, Lillie Avenue, and Phair Avenue will be ordered immediately, Brown said afterwards.
“We’re going to be under the gun to get this equipment in,” he admitted, adding the wait to get the equipment, and then the time to get the work done, could take four-six weeks.
Brown previously noted $75,000 has been earmarked for equipment and inspection services at the parks on Front Street, Lillie Avenue, and Phair Avenue.
Some $40,000 of this money is from Crime Stoppers, which was raised by the group over the past year, with the remaining $35,000 coming from the town’s capital budget.
According to the work plan, Front Street will see a new composite play structure, four swings, and two picnic tables while Lillie Avenue will see a play structure, a see-saw, and two picnic tables.
At Phair Avenue, the new equipment will consist of a play structure, a see-saw, four swings, and two picnic tables.
The parks at Phair and Lillie Avenue, Front Street, and Pither’s Point Park had most or all of their equipment removed last summer after an audit done by certified playground inspector Paul LaFreniere determined it did not meet current safety standards.