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Cheswick children to have new playground by spring

| Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 12:52 a.m.

When spring arrives, children in Cheswick will have a new playground to enjoy.

On Tuesday, council approved by a 7-0 vote spending $50,000 for renovations to the MacLean Street Park playground. Councilman Jonathan Skedel was absent.

What appeared to seal the deal was a $6,000 savings on equipment.

Mark Ford of Sports and Recreation Associates in Apollo, which submitted a design and prices for the project, said if council would commit to doing the project, he could save the borough that much.

“This time of the year, we have a chance to get a really big discount from the equipment companies,” Ford said.

As for committing to the project based on his design and costs, Ford said that his firm is part of COSTARS, the state's program that certifies contractors and suppliers as providing the lowest prices. Because of that, he said council would not be obligated to advertise for bids.

“If you commit to that, that playground will be completed 100 percent — done by April 1,” Ford said.

The playground includes excavation, installation of new play surfaces, new play structures and equipment.

The borough has money earmarked for the playground. The bulk of it comes from a $40,000 recreation grant the borough recently received from the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. It also has received a $15,000 grant from GenOn Energy.

Paul Borland, recreation committee chairman, said if the board would commit to setting aside money in next year's budget, the playground could be finished in first-class fashion by adding a basketball court with fencing.

Councilman Sherman Kephart pointed out that the borough has to come up with $20,000 for the project because of a 50 percent match required for the state grant.

Figuring in the savings Ford discussed, Kephart said that now the borough would have to budget about $15,000.

“This is like getting another $6,000 grant, another $6,000 donation,” said Councilman Frank Meledandri.

He said completing the project the way the borough would like to do it will probably take two or three years. The project, including the basketball court, has a total cost of $72,000.

Tom Yerace is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or tyerace@tribweb.com.

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