Three Midland parks to receive new playground equipment

Bayview Park, Little Lake Park East and Pete Pettersen Park will all be receiving new playground structures in early 2022.

The town has awarded contracts to two companies and ordered replacement equipment for the three parks following an extensive public input process.

“We were able to get some good feedback on themes and preferences, along with feedback on overall feel and design,” said Dylan Flannery, manager of operations for the Town of Midland. “We were also able to make use of some good feedback on how important accessibility features were and where we should incorporate them.”

Last summer, play structures at eight Midland parks were cordoned off after failing annual safety inspections. Nine structures were removed, as the equipment was deemed beyond repair.

Council set aside $500,000 to replace equipment at four parks this year. However, after costing out the new equipment, the town wasn’t able to include Tiffin Park in this year’s replacement project.

Replacing structures at the three parks will cost the town $486,000.

Bayview Park and Little Lake Park East playground projects were awarded to Play Power Canada, while the Pete Pettersen Park project was awarded to Openspace Solutions Inc.

“We are trying to have them installed as early as we can in spring, but we have to have a little flexibility in case we have a late winter,” said Flannery, noting that the town hopes to have the new equipment installed in early to mid-May.

Replacing playground equipment at the five other parks, including Edgehill Park, Gawley Park, Mac McAllen Park, Quota Park and Tiffin Park will have to wait.

Council is expected to discuss funds for a 2022 playground equipment replacement project during upcoming budget deliberations.

“We are hopeful that we can get some additional funds approved so that we can replace some more equipment,” said Flannery.

“Through the engagement process, we were able to see what residents prioritized in terms of locations. We were not able to get to everything that residents feel need to be replaced.”

Preliminary budget discussions were held at the Sept. 15 meeting in order to give staff members direction as they begin to prepare a 2022 draft budget.