Rincon’s recreation director announced at the city council meeting Monday night that new playground equipment is on the way for Macomber Park.
Appearing nearly as excited as the kids will be at the sight of the new equipment, Richard Foley requested approval to purchase the play set.
“It’s got a lot of cool stuff on it,” he said.
The features include five slides, two roofs, a rock climbing wall, funnel bridge, crunching bar, overhead tree climber, loop ladder and a crawl tube. It can accommodate up to 55 children at a time and is suitable for ages 5 through 12.
The recreation department was able to secure $15,000 of a $150,000 special projects local assistance grant they applied for. Foley received another $10,000 from the city’s special purpose local option sales tax funds. A discount from U.S. Communities, a national government purchasing alliance, shaved off 24 percent of the total cost, leaving the final figure at just over $24,600. This amount includes shipping and installation, as well.
“We got a real good price on it,” Foley said.
However, if the department had been able to secure the full grant amount, a lot more would have been possible.
“If we had got that $150,000, that park would have been decked out,” Foley told the council.
Councilman Ken Baxley half-jokingly suggested that he ask for $300,000 next year to better his chances.
Foley admitted that without the grant and SPLOST funding the department would not have been able to purchase the needed equipment.
The park currently has just a few items, including one slide and one swing set with four swings.
According to Foley, he never really received any complaints from residents about the playground, but he noticed that the equipment was getting old.
“I just saw that there was a need,” he said.
Foley also has plans to replace the old swing set with a new one, install plastic borders and new surface material. He also wants to add more play equipment to build around the new play set.
Macomber Park is one of four parks in Rincon. The others are Atlantic Avenue Park on the west side of town and Veterans Park in front of the library. The fourth, Patriot Park next to the new YMCA, is undergoing some improvements to include new tennis courts.
Foley concedes that the current council is really stressing recreation.
Nonetheless, the city continues to lack a park suitable for walking and jogging.
“That’s in the works, too,” Foley noted. “We’ve talked about it a lot.”
Land for such a park is available on Ninth Street, according to Foley. It has a pond and there are wetlands nearby.
However, nothing definitive has been planned, so far.
Rincon’s city council approved the purchase of the new equipment. It should be installed in about two months.
Foley can hardly wait.
“I appreciate it ’cause I like to see things happen,” he told the council.
He added that he’s not alone.
“Those kids really, really appreciate new playground equipment,” he said.