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New Play Equipment Approved For Parks
city oak

During their final regular meeting of the year on Monday night, Dec. 19, Oakdale City Council members approved a resolution to replace the aging playground equipment at two high-traffic city parks. Coming in at the hefty price of $564,931, the project is to be funded by the Parks Replacement Fund.

The parks selected, Cottles Woods located at East J Street and Ventanas, and William A. Fish Veterans Park, located on Pontiac and Cliffwood Way, were installed 22 and 28 years ago.

Due to wear-and-tear, the park equipment has broken plastic, as well as rusted and exposed metal, which creates not only an eyesore but a safety hazard for small children.

Feedback from the community at three separate meetings was in favor of upgrading and replacing the play equipment. The final meeting was held Oct. 26.

“You build it and they will come,” council member Christopher Smith said. “It’s a big price hit but in my opinion it needs to be done. We have a lot of kids in this town.”

Council member Fred Smith agreed, saying, “I think it’s a good thing. I think this is one of the reasons Oakdale has high property values because of these parks and recreations that we have are shining above the rest.”

Council member Bob Amaral expressed concern about the potential vandal threat on the pricey, new play structures, asking how the city would prevent future destruction of city property.

While acts of vandalism are always a concern, City Manager Bryan Whitemyer responded, “The main issue with vandalism we’ve had lately is people driving through the parks and occasionally we do have vandalism on the park equipment but it’s typically not what we see … the incidents we see are fairly minor.”

Whitemyer added, community help in watching out for the care and treatment of the parks is a vital component in keeping the threat of vandalism at bay.

According to city staff, the project will consist of the complete removal of all play structures and fall material as well as the new installation and replacement of equipment and wood fiber fall material.

However, some of the removed playground equipment will be recycled at other park locations within the city.

Park Planet, which received the winning bid for the project, will also offer lifetime warranties on many features of the equipment.