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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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97th Street Playground Project Advances in Stone Harbor

97th Street Playground Project Advances in Stone Harbor

By Vince Conti

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STONE HARBOR – Councilman Tim Carney brought some good news about the borough’s efforts to reconstruct the 97th Street playground to the Borough Council’s July 2 meeting.

Carney said the borough has worked out a financial mechanism for proceeding with the ordering of equipment and surface materials for the playground. He said the borough had a great inclusive design supported by public input.

“We are not waiting, and that’s a good thing,” he added.

Carney also pointed to a savings of $250,000 from the earlier design estimates that he said can be used for the 82nd Street playground when that project is ready to move forward.

Borough Engineer Marc DeBlasio told the council that a presentation by the borough to the county open space board on June 18 was well-received, and that the board has agreed to recommend funding for the project to the Board of Commissioners. DeBlasio added that matching funds from the borough would probably be between $800,000 and $900,000.

The playground at 97th Street, along with the one at 82nd Street, had been deemed unsafe due to deterioration caused by exposure to salt air, and earlier this year the borough took the precaution of dismantling both play areas. The reconstruction of the 97th Street playground has been an active topic during council public comment sessions.

Plans for 97th Street include more than new equipment and play surface for the playground: They also involve an expansion of the basketball court, a new storage and office building and public restrooms. The $1.9 million project would receive around $1 million from a county open space grant if the county commissioners give final approval.

Recreation Director Shannon MacPherson previously told the council that the project is likely to take a minimum of six weeks from the date on which the equipment is ordered. If that holds, the reconstructed playground would be finished close to Labor Day.

Contact the reporter, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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