First made public more than two years ago, plans to install a new children’s playground in Waveny have been delayed, though a new committee now is taking up the proposal, officials say.
A committee that includes Parks & Recreation Director John Howe, Public Works Director Tiger Mann, a Town Councilman and Monica Capela of the Friends of Mead Park Playground is to meet soon to develop a “concept plan” for the new playground area, officials said during Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting.
The playground will be located next to the parking lot that serves the “Orchard Field” softball diamond and all-abilities fitness station/athletic area in Waveny.
The committee will “propose the layout for the new athletic area and the children’s playground area and the equipment” for both, Mann told the selectmen at their meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.
“We’ve been a little delayed in getting it launched,” Mann said.
He spoke in response to a request for an update on the proposal from First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. Mann noted that the town has approved a budget for the new playground area though no equipment has been purchased.
“Nothing has been acquired,” Mann said. “We’re trying to go with a clean slate for the area.”
According to the town’s approved fiscal year 2024 budget, $455,000 has been bonded for an item called “Playground Updates – Replace and Increase.”
The discussion came as the selectmen approved a $21,470 contract with Hawthorne, N.Y.-based Playground Medic to do inspections and repair work on playgrounds in Mead, Dixon and Kiwanis Parks.
“Every year we have them inspected and there need to be some repairs done to them, to different pieces of equipment,” Howe said during the meeting. “So this would be for the repairs in all three parks including materials except for the slide that has been damaged down at Mead Park, because that that has already been ordered.”
He referred to a slide that appeared to have been melted, in part, in an act of vandalism.
The melting “changed its shape on the inside a little bit and the right thing to do is replace it,” Howe said.
Selectman Nick Williams asked whether there are security cameras installed at Mead Park. Howe said yes.
Williams said, “Everybody should know that.”
One of the reasons that officials have pushed for a playground at Waveny is that children often can be seen using the fitness station equipment, though it’s not age-appropriate for them. The town likely would install a fence around the playground since it’s close to the access road through Waveny, officials have said.
It isn’t clear yet what playground equipment the committee will recommend, though its findings would go to Parks & Rec first for the Commission’s review, Mann said.
Regarding the committee’s membership, he said, “It will be well-represented of the various aspects of the community itself.”