Land, maintenance, insurance and security needed to move forward

By Margo Frink


Canastota Playground LayoutCanastota Playground Jolly VoyagerCanastota Playground Triple Whammy Playground, 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 or 315-481-8732.




By martha

2 thoughts on “Interact Club Proposes Village Playground”
  1. I am in support of a playground on Spencer Street but NOT this proposed playground. A swing set containing 6-8 swings, a small jungle gym, and a few slides would suffice. Five or six metal rubber-coated picnic tables would provide a seating area and a picnicking space. 3-4 trash containers could be placed at the playground with daily emptying provided by the Village DPW.

    The playground that is proposed by the Rotary is too large and too expensive to maintain and insure. Supervision would be troublesome and should not be a requirement of the police force.

    The Rotary should be commended for the desire to improve the quality of life in the village. Perhaps they would like to be a part of a smaller scale playground project.

  2. I too fully support the idea of building a playground at this site next to the pool on spencer street. However, similar to the comment above, I would make a few changes to the proposition. I am a homeowner on spencer street with a full view of the pool and its green space. I love the idea of a simple playground… swings, jungle gym climbers with slides, and bench and picnic table seating. I do not like the ides of a large pirate ship(very tacky and looks too much like an amusement park.) This is a residential area and I welcome local kids and parents to use the space all year round. By enclosing it and restricting the hours it doesn’t allow kids to enjoy playing there on nice fall and winter days. Another issue that has to be addressed is the way many people use the space now as a dog walking and toileting area… this is epidemic, unclean and deters use by those of us who don”t want to step in dog waste. Please contact me for more discussion on this topic, Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.