Park board begins fundraisers with goal of buying playground equipment

Posted June 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm

The Clinton County Rec/Park Board’s first attempt to begin raising money to purchase new playground equipment for Mountain View Park–thanks to the weather last week–got off to a somewhat slower start than park board members had hoped. However, board members, as well as Park Director Bobby Reneau, are pleased with the early amount raised.

The board had earlier voted to have various ongoing fundraising events to garner enough money to purchase new and much needed playground items for the park.

Their first venture was sitting a two-night donation collection at the gate of the park during ball game nights when it is most used, on Monday and Thursday.

The first night was literally “rained out” on Monday, June 10 but on Thursday, June 14, around $714.00 was donated by persons who visited the park on that particular evening, which Reneau feels is a great show of support by the public for the park and the playground.

Reneau said during a brief interview on Monday that although a separate banking account had not been set up at this point, that may be a possibility the board could explore but noted that “one hundred percent of the proceeds from fundraisers” and other earmarked donations would be set aside for the playground equipment purchase.

“Some of the equipment that is there (at the park) has been there since before the (park) board was formed,” Reneau noted. He said he had to do a lot of repairs to the existing playground equipment annually. “Most of the equipment is made out of wood and it breaks down eventually,” he added.

The board has yet to pick out any particular type of equipment, but whatever it may be will be expensive. One such piece of playground equipment from licensed playground suppliers, which would allow use by 50-60 children at one time, costs up to $36-$38 thousand dollars.

“The board will determine what type of playground equipment they want when they eventually see how much money they can raise,” the park director said.

Although the costs are high, the board is constantly looking for grants, in whole or matching, that would help defray some of the local cost. Reneau also said at certain times of the year, some items of equipment could be purchased at near half price.

Playground equipment which is used in parks such as Mountain View that is county owned, can’t be just any type of hand-made constructed equipment, as state regulations require all the equipment to have all the safety features under manufacturers specifications of use and warranty for liability purposes.

Reneau also noted that in the current economy, its hard to even operate a facility such as park, much less make expensive purchases of any type without asking for public and private sector help.

He said over the past few years, he has taken every step he could find to cut down the costs of operating the park, including keeping down electric and other utility expenses and said, “if we don’t need something, we don’t buy it.”

More fundraisers are in store for the specific purpose of purchasing new playground equipment, including a softball tournament that is being planned for the second weekend in July and a car show in early September.

Although fundraisers are being held and grants are being searched for, those people who may not frequent the park but still would like to support the park and the children who use the playground and ball fields can still help out. Monetary donations by private individuals and businesses can be given to any park board officer or member, or mailed to Mountain View Park, P.O. Box 96, Albany, Ky. 42602. If you want to donate specifically toward the playground, please note that in your correspondence.

The park board is scheduled to hold its regular meeting next Thursday night, June 27 at 6 p.m. at the park and the meeting is open to the general public.