December 22, 2014

Omer council discusses playground improvements

Posted

OMER — Members of the Omer City Council met Nov. 28 and laid out possible plans to install new playground equipment at the park next to the city library after receiving $19,780 from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe for the project.

Council members Revia Stewart, James Steward, and Ruth Ann Cook were absent from the meeting, and as a result the council lacked a decision-making quorum, but Mayor Alice Sproule filled in the remaining members on what information she had gathered so far.

She said she had spoken with Frank Riggle of Miracle Midwest, the company who provided the playground equipment for the Pinconning Park and the Deep River Township Park, about doing the same for Omer.

The company is currently running a sale, on a single structure playscape with 11 different activities on it, Sproule said. Omer does not have someplace to store the equipment through the winter, but she said the company is willing to honor the sale price for Omer in the springtime.

The cost of the equipment would be roughly $17,200, Sproule said. The city would get a 3-percent discount, Sproule said, which would come out to about $600. To actually set up the new playground equipment, the city could hire Miracle Group for $1,600, or work with an outside group. It would also get free shipping for the playground equipment.

Sproule said a contractor was recommended to her, Lee Carpenter, who would help install it for about $600. She also plans on calling Cathy Wilk, who led the effort to get the Deep River Township Park equipment, to see who installed theirs.

“I know the school kids helped,” Sproule said. “Different people supplied snacks and lunches, so I will work with the Wilks for ideas.”

She said since the city would not be able to store the equipment over the winter, it gives the city council until the spring to decide what to do.

The playscape Sproule is looking at is 42-by-32 feet and capable of having about 60 children playing on it at one time. She believes there should be room for it at the park without needing to remove or move any of the existing equipment.

“We will try to find a place for it rather than remove what’s there now,” Councilman Larry Daly said.

While the Deep River Township Park uses rubber mulch around its playground equipment for safety, Sproule said it would cost about $8,000 to go that route — more money than the city can spare. Pinconning Park uses specially treated wood chips that do not disintegrate as quickly as untreated wood. The treated chips would cost about $1,300.

“It’s going to be pretty tight,” Sproule said. “I encourage stopping over at the Pinconning Park to see what they use.”

The $19,780 came to the city through the tribe’s fall distribution of its 2-percent gaming revenue grants. During the distribution Nov. 20, Sproule said she had applied for the grant numerous times, and the tribal council finally approved it this year.

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