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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Timeline for 97th Street Playground Work Gets Blurry

Timeline for 97th Street Playground Work Gets Blurry

By Vince Conti

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STONE HARBOR – The schedule for the replacement of the 97th Street playground was up in the air after the Borough Council took no action on funding for the project at its June 4 meeting, possibly delaying completion until later in the summer.

Two weeks prior, Councilman Tim Carney had asked for voice approval of new, less expensive plans for the playground equipment and ground cover. His purpose was to allow the borough to substitute the new plans for ones already sent to the county as part of an application for open space funding.

Carney also said then that the council would vote the money for the playground at the June 4 meeting.

The approval was given and the new plans were sent to the county, but no vote on the funding for the playground equipment and ground cover was on the agenda on June 4.

The borough is seeking an open space grant from the county of more than $1 million toward a larger project involving the new playground area, reworking the basketball court and putting in a new storage building and restrooms. The borough would like the expense for the playground area, more than $300,000, to be considered its matching share for the grant.

Marc DeBlasio, the borough’s consulting engineer, said the county “probably” would allow those expenses to be counted as the match, but no guarantee has yet come from the county. Stone Harbor appears to be waiting for that guarantee before proceeding.

When asked by a member of the public if the playground area will be completed by late summer, council members made no response. When Councilwoman Bunny Parzych asked if the equipment had been ordered, she was told it had not. No schedule was provided by the borough administrator or the other members of the council.

Recreation Director Shannon MacPherson said at her presentation Tuesday, May 21, that the equipment would take six weeks from the date of order to be delivered, and that there would be another two weeks minimum for installation.

Since there was no vote on the funding on June 4, the potential date for the playground’s reopening apparently will be pushed further into August or possibly September.

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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