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Paul Porter Park to get new equipment: Village hopes to begin installation within month

COAL GROVE — The playground equipment will soon be coming back to Coal Grove’s Paul Porter Park.

Vicki McDaniel, president of the Coal Grove Betterment Club, said that it has been a complicated process.

In February, the village found out that much of the playground equipment, which was installed three decades ago, didn’t meet current standards.

Aisk assessor for the village’s insurance company looked over the park and found that the swings were too close together, that there was a metal bar on the slide that could cause head injuries, that the playhouse had issues and wasn’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and that a slide didn’t have enough space for kids to slide down safely and would have to be moved.

And pebbles and dirt would have to be removed and replaced with rubber mulch for a softer landing for kids.

While they were getting new playground equipment, they found out the land didn’t belong to the village.

“The county owned it,” McDaniel said. The Lawrence County commissioners had to get the land surveyed before it could be transferred. “They told us they would give it to us, but it has been a waiting game.”

She said they got a letter from the commissioners last week that they would be getting the deed soon.

“So, we can go ahead and get started getting the grants,” McDaniel said. That means they can let the playground equipment company know what the situation was. “So it is in process.”

Daniels said they hope to start the installation of the new playground equipment in two or three weeks, but that wasn’t a firm deadline.

“We will have new swings, a gym thing with slides, bars and shaking slides,” she said. “And we will move the big slide and put in the rubber mulch. We can’t put that in, it has to be done by a contractor.”

She did say that once it is ready for the public, they would be having a grand opening with hot dogs.

“We will have to close the park while they are installing the equipment,” Daniels said. “But once we can open it again, we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony. But I don’t know when that will be, it will be when it is completed.”

Daniels said she would be happy to have the park open again.

“There isn’t much for the little kids to do up in the park,” she said. “It is going to be good.”