NEWTON GROVE — Before 2018, there’s a possibility that local children could enjoy a new playground at Weeks Park.
During a Wednesday special meeting, the Newton Grove Board of Commissioners approved spending about $79,000 for new equipment at the park through a budget amendment.
Commissioner Teresa Wilson presented the project to the board. After receiving several bids, Playground Packages was selected to do the work. The business is based out of Mooresville plans to remove old equipment and install new parts. For safety, mulch will also be laid down around the equipment.
The layout involves putting two playgrounds sets between the existing swings and spring riders. Some of the features include a triple side, loop ladder, climbing wall and crawl tube. Another feature of the layout included a rail ride, which allows children to swing 34 feet between two platforms.
“It’s one of newest things and the kids love it,” Wilson said.
Wilson expects the equipment to be around for awhile. She also reported that the town is cutting out the middle man with the company since the equipment is manufactured in North Carolina. It was also noted that other bidders wanted more money for less equipment.
“We’re getting a lot more for our money,” Wilson said.
Town Clerk Amanda Turner said the board initially put $50,000 in the budget, but the Newton Grove ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) Board gave the town an additional $18,500 from funds given to the town. More than $5,000 of sales tax is included in the total, but Turner said the town will be reimbursed. Another $5,000 was added as a financial cushion for the project.
With the recent approval, there’s a possibility that the playground will be built before the end of the year, with an estimate of six to eight weeks. Wilson mentioned the idea of having a celebration day in the park.
“I think that would be awesome,” Wilson.
Several commissioners said it was a lot of money, but there was a consensus that the project was needed for the community and children in the area.
“I’ve been on this board for (many years) and we’ve never spent money on equipment,” said Commissioner Gary Mac Herring referring to the playground. “To me we’re just catching up on what we’ve done for the past 10 years. I don’t have a problem with it and I think it’s well needed.”
Mayor Gerald Darden said the park is used a lot by members of the community, so the new features will be something for people to enjoy. Commissioner Alan Herring had the same sentiments about the project and Weeks Park.
“We’re looking at the future as far as kids,” Darden said.
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