New playground approved for Optimist Park

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The Town of Tillsonburg is renovating its Optimist Park playground and has asked the community to help choose the colour scheme.

Voting for new colours at the playground, located on Hardy Avenue near the tennis courts, across the street from the Tillsonburg Community Centre, happens on the Town’s Facebook page and will end March 16.

Four options are available for metallic elements, moulded elements, panels and roofs, and climbing holds.

Town council had awarded a $67,285 playground contract to Openspace Solutions Inc., from Wellesley, at its Feb. 22 virtual meeting.

“Is the old equipment deemed unusable, and what happens to the equipment once it’s taken out?” asked Coun. Deb Gilvesy. “Is it recycled?”

“If the equipment can be redeployed to a park where there is little or no playground equipment, we will sort of ‘cast off’ some of the better pieces if we can incorporate them into those parks,” said Chris Baird, director or Recreation, Culture and Parks.


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“But there is a company that specializes in recycling old playground equipment, and they not only remove the equipment but they also provide contribution – a financial incentive – for those materials. They are generally refurbished and sold outside of Canada… to the Caribbean and other countries.”

Gilvesy suggested donating playground equipment, if it is still serviceable, to a co-op housing property in town.

Baird noted that the reason the equipment is being replaced is that in some cases it is unsafe or past its life expectancy.

“If there are products that are still usable, we can certainly entertain that,” said Baird. “But the recent playground replacement that we did in Glendale Park was particularly interesting. A company out of the Norwich area that specializes in this really helped save us money by removing it at their cost. It does save the town a lot of money.”

Baird said he would reach out to the co-op housing individuals.

“We want the play opportunities for everyone in town.”

“What does this leave in the park’s (budget funds) for 2021?” Mayor Stephen Molnar asked Baird, following up with a question about accessible playground opportunities.

“The budget is $75,000, and the price after the net HST will provide approximately $6,500 in savings,” said Baird. “What we would generally do, there may be an additional piece or we may want to refresh a park bench, things like that. Or it might go toward a handicap swing. We’d like to use those funds for that purpose and try to provide as much benefit as we can with the money we’re provided.”

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