Butler County Times Gazette
  • City Council: 'New playground equipment in place by summer not feasible'

  • Having the equipment in place by this summer may be possible but it is not feasible.
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  • City Councilor Sue Jones was hoping for a fun summer in Garvin Park after the city received word that it has been awarded a $100,000 Kansas Department of Parks and Wildlife grant.
    In January of 2012, the city had to remove the playground equipment from the park because it didn't meet state safety guidelines.
    The city budgeted money to help fund a new playground in hopes of getting the grant. Now that the grant is in hand, Jones was hopeful that the equipment could be installed in time for summer.
    Josh Shaw, Assistant to the City Manager, said he thought that might be too ambitious.
    "We have the information for the grant," Shaw said. "We are trying to understand all of the stipulations. Having the equipment in place by this summer may be possible but it is not feasible."
    Shaw said the plan included getting community input and working through the city's parks board.
    "It would be nice to have an aggressive timeline," Jones said. "I would like to see something in place by next week. We need to put a stake in the ground and work toward it."
    New name for club
    Since last year's annual report to the city council, the local model train club has made a lot of changes for the better.
    The group is now known as the Augusta Model Railroad Club. Despite the change in name and the addition of a website at www.augustamodelrrclub.org and several videos on Youtube.com, the group still meets in the old fire station adjacent to City Hall.
    The club has paid its $800 annual rent and cut its utility payments significantly by insulating the east wall of the facility they use.
    The club has 19 members and several prospective members.
    Spokesperson Gorden MacPhail said the group is open to the public on Thursday nights and they also do tours when people request them.
    "You have made a lot of great changes this year," Mayor Kristey Williams said. "I appreciate the name change, too."

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