July 5, 2012

Playground project gets financial boost from council

Playground project gets financial boost from council

A proposed new playground – geared exclusively for toddlers – received a financial shot in the arm Monday night in Garrison City Council Chambers. But the request by a fledgling group calling itself the Toddler Playground Committee has raised more questions than answers.
The committee, established in April, wants to create a toddler-age park in memory of Bob Callies Elementary kindergarten student Weston Hove. The 4-year-old youngster died in a farm accident this past November.
Fundraising efforts have recently gotten underway for the project which is estimated to cost more than $45,000. The playground group asked the Sales and Use Tax Committee for $29,516 to cover the cost of the equipment.
Last month, the matter was tabled by the council because no Sales and Use Tax Committee meeting minutes were available. The committee met June 25 and approved the playground committee’s request, but only by a 3-2 vote. Voting “Aye” were members Shannon Staehr, Dave Jeffrey and David Mautz. Voting “Nay” were Mayor Shannon Jeffers and Tod Graeber.
The request came before the council for its rubber stamp of approval Monday. Attending Monday’s meeting were playground committee members Cora Wolken and Shelly Fuller. More questions were asked by the council.
Alderman Chad Betz said the proposal is a great idea, but he’s concerned that the request is exorbitant without a lot of fundraising being done. He also shared that he’s received negative feedback from the public that the amount is too high.
“I don’t think we should be giving out that much money,” he said.
Wolken replied: “I understand it’s a lot of money, but it’s not benefiting an individual, it’s benefiting the city.”
She added that whatever is earned through fundraising would be put into the park.

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