Playground open again at Culpepper Park
The playgrounds at Culpepper Park are open again after new surfacing and borders were placed for safety.
"We would like to thank all of the city council members and our mayor for approving this project and the additional funds," said Daleville Parks and Recreation Director Brook Beasley. "Culpepper Park is now open to the public and we will do a ribbon cutting once other upgrades are complete.
"We would also like to thank the public for patiently waiting for the upgrades to be done as we work together to make Culpepper Park better," Beasley said.
She also said the city and the Parks and Recreation Department thanked ADEM for the grant to provide the upgrades to the park as well.
Recently, the closing of these playgrounds caused concerns to citizens, which Mayor Jayme Stayton addressed in a June interview with the Daleville Sun-Courier.
At the time of the interview, Stayton said the playgrounds were closed until surfacing and equipment parts could be replaced.
"I know it's an inconvenience for people, but we've had some of the equipment break, so we've had to get parts to fix it," he said at the time.
According to Stayton, the playground’s upgrades and maintenance were made through ADECA grants, which can restrict how the city can repair and maintain the equipment.
He said in the June interview that the city was previously told by ADECA of small violations at the park while the city was working on Phase II of the Culpepper Park project. One violation was the mulch found underneath the swings and playground equipment. Another was broken equipment, such as the park's seesaw.
The council addressed the surfacing issue in 2017 when it approved allowing Allen Killen, with Civil Southeast, to apply for grant funds from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for playground resurfacing improvements.
During the council's Sept. 19 meeting, two surfacing options were presented to the council: pour-in-place rubber surfacing and rubber mulch.
The pour-in place surfacing was priced at around $230,000. The council was also provided a price for rubber mulch, which was around $56,000.
During that meeting, Killen said the pour-in-place rubber surfacing could be approved by a grant.
Council member Alan Souders then suggested applying for the grant and coming back to the project if it was not approved.
"We got the grant for the rubber (surfacing), but the problem was, it took ADEM a while to send the final contract for us to sign," Stayton said during his June interview with the Daleville Sun-Courier.
The council was told during its Feb. 5 work session that it had received a grant for about $97,000.
"Congratulations," Killen said during the work session. "They only give out about $800,000; we don't know the exact number, but you all got close to $100,000 of it."
Killen later told the Daleville Sun-Courier the funds were provided through an ADEM program that recycles tire scraps.
"This project was partially funded through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management's Scrap Tire Marketing Program," Killen said. "This program has allowed the City of Daleville to raise awareness to the benefits of recycling.
"This project would not have been possible without a fantastic partnership with ADEM," he said.
The original estimated cost of pour-in-place playground surface was around $230,000. Killen said the rubber surfacing could be purchased through a cooperative to reduce the cost.
"There's one where we can buy all this through,” Killen told the council on Feb. 5. “So, this (new cost estimate) is $188,000, but it's more than just playground improvements. What it is, you guys, as part of the ADECA issues, you all have some broken playground equipment out there."
He said playground maintenance and warranty issues, which also caused the playgrounds to close at Culpepper for a time, needed to be fixed before surfacing can be installed. He said he contacted the playground equipment company, called GameTime, which would help the city fix the playground equipment and place it back under warranty.
Now, the playground equipment and surfacing have been fixed. The playgrounds were also inspected and approved by ADEM in July.
The playgrounds are two areas that include slides, swings, structures to climb and play on, seesaws and more.
The rubber surfacing has been placed underneath the playground equipment and around the playground area along with a sod border.