Land, maintenance, insurance and security needed to move forward
By Margo Frink
, NY – April 1) Canastota High School students and members of Rotary’s Interact Club Christal O’Hern and Jake Morris gave a PowerPoint presentation to the Canastota Village Board proposing an all-access playground.
Accompanied by Peter Finocchiaro, Canastota Rotary Club’s liaison to the Interact Club, O’Hern and Morris have proposed the property location of the playground to be adjacent to the municipal pool at the corner of Spencer and Chapel streets.
The project includes the main attraction; a piece of equipment that looks like a ship called the “Jolly Voyager.” It measures 30 by 21 by 21 feet and costs around $56,000. It has the capacity to hold 101 children ages 5 to 12.
Another piece is called the “Triple Whammy,” which is made up of slides and climbing apparatus. Its cost is nearly $32,000.
Rubber tiles will be placed under the handicapped-accessible area. Blue chips would be placed under the Jolly Voyager and a fence would be placed around the entire area.
A picnic area under shelter and a seating around by the playground, along with a pet waste container were added to the design.
Two of the swings selected are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
Morris and O’Hern said it would be the only playground in the region like it and they hope the quality in design and appearance will play a factor for families to live in the community. It would be available to Canastota, town of Lenox and Lincoln residents.
The two said they had a budget of $120,000. Their proposed design is $113, 564.
Morris said the concrete work would be donated and volunteers would provide the labor. Labor and in-kind services drive the price of the project to around $160,000 or $170,000.
Trustee Margaret Peters asked if features of the playground could be phased in.
“The selling point is all-inclusive or barrier-free,” Finocchiaro said. “It’s really not a phase project.”
What the group requires before moving forward are four things: a commitment of land, an agency to maintain it, security and insurance.
Once these four items are in place there are several agencies where grants can be applied for.
“The land is available by Spencer Street,” Finocchiaro said. “Parking is there.”
But once you limit the hours the playground is open, during pool hours for example, it will restrict the amount of grant money that can be received. He said certain pieces of equipment require supervision. Finocchiaro said he was hoping for police supervision or a pool employee.
He also said Lenox Supervisor Rocco DiVeronica and town highway Superintendent Salvador “Tony” Cesario agreed to provide labor and use of its equipment as in-kind services.
Mayor Carla DeShaw asked how much that would amount to in dollars. Finocchiaro said he didn’t know.
He said the Rotary Club has committed to raising funds regionally and internationally once the four items are in place but they cannot do anything until that happens.
“Have you looked at other sites?” DeShaw asked.
Finocchiaro said they could not utilize school property because [the school] does not have an “open door policy.”
Trustee Bill Haddad had three issues with the proposal. He said he wasn’t sure attaching the proposed fence to a neighbor’s fence could be done, there were no restrooms in the plan and no lighting proposed.
“That begs the question, how long will it will be open?” Finocchiaro said. “Pool hours limit grant money.”
DeShaw said she thought it was a great project but was concerned with the amount of “green space” needed in the village and wants to make sure they would meet the requirements.
Trustee Scott Rapasadi was concerned that the village’s liability insurance would increase and what it would mean “out of pocket” for taxpayers.
The board plans to research these items.
“I think this is an ambitious project and hopefully this time next year it will be a go,” Finocchiaro said.
Margo Frink is vice president of M3P Media LLC and publisher of the Madison County Courier. She can be reached at Margo@m3pmedia.com or 315-481-8732.