The Grove City Council will be moving playground equipment in Rotary Park.
The playground designed for younger children that has been constantly flooded by the Splash Pad is to be moved to a new location within Rotary Park. The relocation of the equipment was brought before the City Council during the August 20 meeting and was brought back for the council to vote during the September 3 meeting.
When the floor was opened for discussion, there were two locations where the playground might be relocated. One was at Wolf Creek Park. The original plans for the park were always meant to include a playground. The other location was on the north side of the restrooms at Rotary Park.
"Right now, everything is in a sweet spot where mom and dad can watch the kids," said City Manager Bill Keefer. "This would be a winter project. It's not something we can do overnight."
Craig Craiger, who works for the City of Grove in the Building and Grounds Department called the current site a hazard.
"It just doesn't work where it's at. It catches the water from the Splash Pad and the ditch doesn't drain right that is back there and so it's just not going to work where it is," said Criger.
Councilman Josh McElhaney expressed concerns about moving the equipment to Wolf Creek Park.
"It's such a small piece of playground equipment," said McElhaney. "We wouldn't have it any time soon in our budget to put anything out with it. The other thing is it would be great to have something out at Wolf Creek, I just don't want it to be put out there and just sit there."
This guided the discussion into changing the proposed location entirely.
"I think if we moved it closer to the other side of the big playground, I think there should be enough room there," said McElhaney. "You'll still have that visibility for parents who watch their children at the big playground to watch [on the smaller playground]."
Councilman Matt Henderson agreed with McElhaney's concern.
"That's our primary park and we've got tons of families that have older kids and younger kids and I know being able to have both playgrounds pieces available for both sets of kids is huge. I have talked to several families who have agreed that they won't drive to Wolf Creek Park just to play with this smaller piece of equipment. They would rather go to [Rotary Park] and let their kids play on both sets of playground equipment," said Henderson.
Councilman Ivan Devitt brought up the fact that when installed, the company had sent a representative out to help the city with the location of this playground equipment. Criger said that he aims to reach out to the same representative to assist in the relocation of the equipment, as well as several members of the Rotary Club who were involved in the original project.
"It's not the best stand alone piece, because it is for such a young age group," said Grove Mayor Ed Trumble. "Thinking about my experience with my grandkids out on [the playground equipment], when they transition from that young age and that small piece to the bigger piece, they will even be running back and forth [from playground to playground]."
Keefer says that there are several projects like this that the city needs to complete once the growing season is over. Additionally, Keefer also says that the city will need Rotary's help.
"We would need [Rotary] to assist us with assembling it, because there is an art to it. Everything has got to fit perfect, you have to put some footings in the ground and things like that. It's got to work just right. The Rotary Club has been involved with two or three playgrounds in the community, so there is some expertise there. Whatever assistance they can provide would be appreciated," said Keefer.
The City Council closed the discussion by making a motion and seconding it to relocate the smaller playground equipment to the south side of the larger playground equipment, near the brick memorial.