Palmdale, BHR parks to get new playground fixtures

MOORE HAVEN — The grounds of the Glades County community center in Palmdale — and the one in Buckhead Ridge, too — will be getting long-promised playground equipment.

The county commissioners voted unanimously to equip both park areas with brand-new hardware for young children to play on after a brief presentation by Public Works Director Archie Branch on July 9. He called for spending $24,994 on new gym-type play equipment from the American Parks Company for the Palmdale community park, and to pay for it out of the county’s 1-cent sales tax fund.

“The equipment there is over 15 years old. I’ve had several residents come to me about the playground equipment. I had it on the schedule a year ago and never followed up with it, but a little boost from the public got me there,” he told the board Tuesday morning.

He gave commissioners a report with the quotes he got and a description of the equipment he intends to acquire. “I didn’t pick the smallest quote and I didn’t pick the highest quote. I picked the one for the most money on the equipment,” he said, adding that it was hard to compare the different brands of equipment because of the “difference in usages, for different ages, so I kind of went with what we had in one of our other parks.

“Also,” Mr. Branch added, “this vendor is one we’ve used before and had good service from.”

Commission Chairman Tim Stanley started a discussion: “I’ve been promised a playground from this guy for the last six years up in Buckhead, and he even told me yesterday he was going to have it installed — but he’s been telling me that for the last six years, so I would like to amend this to include Buckhead Ridge.”

He suggested taking available utility money from the budget to cover it.

“All we’ve got up there right now is a swingset, so I think something like this would be perfect,” said Mr. Stanley.

Commissioner Donna Storter Long made a motion to pay for both out of the 1-cent fund. Commissioner Donald Strenth, saying “that’s what it’s there for,” seconded and the vote was 5-0.

For the money, the county will be getting two sets of these items:
• a “Rock Ridge,” for ages 5-12, which covers an area 35 feet by 30 feet and rises 8 feet tall, with six activities and a capacity of 25 kids, including a tower with slides, a leg lift, an “S” horizontal ladder, “Jump ’n’ Bounce,” “Apex Climbing Attachment,” single “Speedway slide” and a rappeling rock;
• a two-bay bi-pod swing frame; and
• a Whirl & Twirl.

Glades County Parks Department workers will remove the old equipment before installation.

Several commissioners noted later during their reports that there has been an ongoing cleanup and code enforcement push in Palmdale that has the area and the county community center grounds looking a lot better.

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