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Woolwich to cover cost overrun at Kate’s Place playground

Cost overruns that came with the installation of enhanced ground cover at the Kate’s Place accessible playground in Elmira will be covered by the township.

The shortage will be covered by reducing $10,000 from the amount slated to be deposited into a recreation department reserve fund, originally expected to be $60,000 this year. In approving the move, councillors this week also approved letters of support for an application for an Ontario Trillium Fund grant to help with the next phase of the project.

The Kate’s Kause charity launched two years ago raised $300,000 to pay for the playground that opened in July. The playground includes a junior and senior play section, swings and a flower garden. Stage two includes plans for a sensory wall, estimated at $75,000, and an outdoor activity gym for seniors and other adults, founder Kelly Meissner told councillors Tuesday night. The organization has partnered with the Elmira Kiwanis Club in seeking the Trillium grant, she noted.

The sensory wall will be a sculpture roughly 10 feet long and seven feet high. Within the wall there will be numerous animal carvings and nature themed activities for children to interact and play with. The wall will be placed in the garden area of the playground next summer, if fundraising goes ahead as scheduled.

The first phase of the project went ahead much quicker than expected.

“We thought it was going to take us five years,” said Meissner. Instead, the park opened some 18 months after Kate’s Kause was launched.

Grants and community fundraising poured in quickly, allowing construction to go ahead over the summer. The $90,000 allotted for the rubberized tiles that provide groundcover proved inadequate once preparation and installation costs were factored in, however, leaving the project over budget. After a brief discussion, councillors opted to cover the $10,000 shortfall, with director of recreation and facilities Karen Makela offering up the reserve fund money as an option.

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  1. Hmm…I think Karen Makela is a backwards thinker when Meissner says they weren’t expecting things to be completed within 18 months but rather 5 yrs. So why does the REC department have to save this when they are already in debt and this “project” could wait? Makela needs to go – wasting money on things that could have waited for grant money/donors (private/public), etc. I hope users go to this park. . . some how I think it’s just another empty space in Woolwich that won’t get used for its intended purpose (just look at all the little play yards around Elmira and you’ll see them empty 90% of the time).

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