Heidelberg council approves new playground plan
Almost a year after being awarded a grant to build a new playground, Heidelberg Council now awaits state approval of the latest design.
Following a 3-1 vote last Tuesday, the borough sent the blueprints for authorization to begin advertising for bids. Councilman Robert DeBar was absent. The borough received a $45,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources last year.
“Everyone has the same goal that anticipates a speedy turnaround from the state, followed by immediate action from council to put it on the next agenda for and advertising,” said Joe Kauer, borough manager.
However, not everyone was pleased with the process. Some officials say it’s moving too fast.
“I think there is too many things that need ironed out before we make a final decision,” said Vice President Carrie Nolan, who was the lone ‘no’ vote.
“When we have a project of such a large scale, more thought and time should be put into developing the reconstruction of this playground.”
Council President Rick Pattinato said he had mixed emotions about the plan, but voted ‘yes’ to get the ball moving.
“I don’t like the fact that we are cutting two pieces of equipment and not adding. But I’m excited about reconstructing a new resource for Heidelberg and ready to move forward with the project,” he said.
The latest design eliminates the slide and monkey bars and will move the proposed playground to the northwest area of the park. The only purchase of equipment would be a new merry-go-round.
The borough hopes to receive construction designs this spring and have the playground open by next summer, Kauer said.
The project is estimated to cost $190,000 and will receive funding from the state grant as well as $5,000 from The Martha Fund, a local nonprofit organization that helps fund playground projects. Remaining costs will be covered by the borough’s capital fund. So far, $12,200 has been spent on engineering for the project.
The 56-year-old playground at Ellsworth Avenue and Third Street is showing signs of age, with rusted fences, cracked sidewalks and crumbling concrete.
Alex Felser is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or [email protected].