November 29, 2021

Playground funds OK’d by board in Homer

Shenandoah Briere/contributing photographer

The Homer Village Board will have a public hearing tonight on using Community Development Block Grant funding to purchase new park equipment at Newton Park.

Children will soon be able to play on a new jungle gym at Newton Park in the village of Homer after the village board agreed to buy more than $24,000 of playground equipment and revealed which jungle gym won the popular vote online among residents.

The board voted, 4-0, Wednesday to direct $24,584 from a Community Development Block Grant to buy new playground equipment after nobody commented during a public hearing on the matter. Mayor Darren ‘Hal’ McCabe was absent.

Of the four options residents could vote on in an online poll, Pioneer Estates came out the winner with 149 of the 294 responses. It would cost $22,466. The rest of the money will be use to cover the swings compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, such as ones where the child and parent both sit on the swing facing each other. They can cost about $2,000 a piece, McCabe said. The village will also put in sidewalks, fencing and material for around the playground, which some of the money could be allocated toward. Some the cost will also be covered by surplus money the village has.

“This is absolutely more than 100 percent worth it,” board member Tim Daley said.

The playground will include: a small fitness area with a pull up bar; swinging rings; a loop ladder; a spiral climber; two tube bridges; five slides; bongos and a ship’s wheel.

The idea for new equipment came after resident Hannah Potter sought help from McCabe to fix the park on social media after taking her 4-yearold son to the park to play.

The park has become a hub for children during the school year because they cannot use the playground at Homer Elementary School when it’s in session. The new playground is for children ages 5 to 12.

This spring, residents will be invited to help prepare the park for the new playground and help assemble the equipment, McCabe said. He also said that a split-rail fence will be added around the site to help prevent kids from going into the road.

“Money well spent,” board member Kevin Slack said.