MILLINOCKET, Maine — The town’s parks and playgrounds are in excellent shape but will still get some tweaking over the summer, said Recreation Department Director Frank Clukey on Friday.
Clukey recently completed a survey of the Pines, Pamola Park, Little Italy, Hillcrest and the town Recreation Complex playground area at Stearns High School with Joel St. Pierre, a representative of M.E. O’Brien & Sons Inc., he said. Another local park is being built at Jerry Pond.
“Three of them have all brand new swing sets and slides and such,” Clukey said Friday. “They really are in good shape, so now we will maintain them so they are aesthetically acceptable to their neighborhoods.”
The Town Council asked Clukey during its recent budget deliberations to survey the parks to see what, if anything, they required, Town Manager Eugene Conlogue said.
“We are not looking to put money into the secondary playgrounds,” he said Friday.
Clukey made the following recommendations to the council during its meeting on Thursday night:
– The Pines: Remove the park’s swing set while maintaining its basketball courts.
– Pamola Park: Resurface the area under the swings with 9 to 12 inches of sand; continue to maintain basketball courts and remove a slide from the park.
– Little Italy: Resurface the park with 9 to 12 inches of sand, primarily under the park’s recreation equipment.
– Hillcrest: Remove the larger swing set and both park slides; replace the surface under the small swing set and seed and loam the larger green area.
– Recreation Complex: Repair the large climbing wall with new bolts.
Most of the swing set seats will be replaced in all the parks, Clukey said. Clukey said the equipment to be removed is too old or worn to be worth maintaining.
The maintenance work won’t cost the town any money, except for the time the town Public Works Department spends doing it, Clukey said. The work will start in the middle of June and take six to eight weeks to complete.
Of the three parks with entirely new equipment, the Jerry Pond park is in the hands of the regional Rotary Club, which is working on raising funds to entirely renovate the park, Clukey said. The park will be “returned to town hands” when the renovation is finished.
M.E. O’Brien & Sons is the largest supplier of outdoor recreation equipment in New England, according to its website, obrienandsons.com. It provides product and consultation for playground equipment, site furnishings, among other things.