West Nipissing council has voted to implement major equipment upgrades within playgrounds throughout the municipality.
During its special council meeting on August 30, council awarded a contract to CRCS Recreation worth $243,311 plus HST, to supply and install the new equipment.
Stephan Poulin, director of community services, noted that the contract cost surpassed the approved capital budget allocated for such improvements, with the budget line sitting at $235,000.
The additional funds “can be covered from the existing community services capital reserve,” he explained.
“All unsafe equipment” will be removed, Poulin assured, to be replaced “with new structures.”
Additionally, a brand-new playground will be constructed in Lavigne, with the excavation of the site and preliminary work planned for this Fall.
Playgrounds on Leblanc Street, Janen Street, Field Street, and Piette Street are all slated for upgrades, which along with new equipment, will also include new safety surfacing on the ground.
Besides improving safety, the new equipment and landscaping will improve accessibility to those with mobility issues.
The equipment is being delivered and will take “about 12 weeks minimum” to arrive, Poulin said.
Most of the preparatory work will be completed this fall in anticipation of installation. However, the new equipment will be installed in the Spring of 2022.
“I’ve worked 13 years in the recreation department,” councillor Yvon Duhaime said, “and I know the condition of our playground situation is not good.”
“It’s time that we invested in proper equipment,” he continued, “for the betterment of the community and the kids that use them.”
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca