Federal fund to assist in playground upgrade
City Park project includes equipment replacement
November 28. 2012 6:00AM
With word from the governor in tow, the Dell Rapids City Council last week heard its application for playground equipment upgrade funding had been approved.
The project, which is estimated to cost $78,855, will include improvements to the playground area at the Dell Rapids City Park. The city applied for $39,420 in grant funding from the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and $38,000 was awarded, as administered through the federal National Park Service and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.
“I commend project sponsors for their strong commitment to improve their communities and make South Dakota a better place to live, work and play,” Governor Dennis Daugaard said of the applications. “Their efforts will benefit many future generations of South Dakotans.”
City administrator Justin Weiland said that the assistance helps out with a project that would otherwise be difficult to budget with larger-scale ones often eclipsing smaller ones.
“It’s these little amenities that we don’t get to do every year,” he said, “that will add to the community. It’s something you can’t budget for every year.”
The City of Dell Rapids had been budgeting funds for park improvements for the past five years, and $23,360 was budgeted in 2013, along with $26,700 in reserves.
Dell Rapids’ Roger Dearduff was instrumental in the implementation of the existing playground equipment, according to Weiland, who added that the dedication rock will remain and the city plans on salvaging the bouncy cars in the playground area. The rock was placed in dedication to the memory of Cole Dearduff in April 1997. The main playset, though, will be replaced.
“It’s outlived its life expectancy, and we’re thankful for that organization and Mr. Dearduff for putting it in initially,” Weiland said.
The project is set to coincide with improvements on Ace Park Trail during next year’s work schedule. Those improvements are funded through an additional $21,940 grant.
Though the style for the equipment improvements is still tentative, the Rainbow play system will be replaced, there will be an inclined curb lining the space that will connect to the bike trail for easy access, the nearby twist slide will likely remain and a rock base with wood chip layer will line the base of the area, similar to what is used at the Dell Rapids Elementary School.
The city is also considering replacement of the swingset if there is money left over once costs are finalized.
The fund additionally supplied money for park improvements in Brandon, Brookings, Beresford and Lennox, among others. The total awarded this November in South Dakota was $358,310.