City park equipment in disrepair

Several pieces of city-owned park equipment are in disrepair and the poor condition of children’s slides and playgrounds was a topic of discussion Monday by city recreation commission.

The issue arose after a group supportive of playing pickle ball told the commission of “slime” on the court.

Money for maintenance of city facilities where recreational activities take place isn’t there to cover liabilities, according to Jessie Novinger, city recreation director.

Novinger said it would be ideal if the city line item for maintenance of recreational facilities could roll over from year to year.

To help the group, who is interested in better playing conditions for pickle ball, the commission asked the administration to come up with a cost for resurfacing the court at Memorial Park.

“There’s no long-term thinking,” City Councilman Derek Slaughter said. “We’re $2 million in the hole.”

But it is the potential liability that concerned Slaughter, who suggested the city consider hiring an inspector who could specifically look at potential liabilities at the city playgrounds and parks.

Faith Smith, chair of the commission, said when she took her children to Brandon Park last year they could not safely play because there was no mulch on the ground to soften any potential falls.

Councilwoman Bonnie Katz has repeatedly asked the mayor and administration to see what can be done about the material providing a cushion for children using the Memorial Park playground.

In recent days, Mayor Gabriel J. Campana asked the Streets and Parks Department general manager to get a cost estimate for that material.