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Recreation Committee offers to donate half the costs of replacing rubber mulch

Published March 06. 2012 05:01PM

Weissport's playground will get a fresh supply of mulch.

Weissport Recreation Committee, formerly Concerned Citizens of Weissport offered on Monday night during a regular Weissport Council meeting to pay $1,638 toward the cost of four tons of brown mulch.

Tammy Solt, committee member, said that WRC met Sunday to discuss the purchase of the mulch. She noted that the estimated cost does includes delivery.

The best depth for a public playground is six inches of mulch, which does compact over time. Weissport's playground presently needs a overlay of mulch material to raise the level. In some places the mulch is less than the approved level.

Weissport Council members recently had discussed replacing the rubber mulch at the playground with sand because of the cost.

Sue Pywar, council vice president, suggested on Monday that the committee look into purchase black mulch instead because of the cost, but Solt was adamant that brown mulch is a better choice.

Solt explained that by purchasing black mulch there was no guarantee that the mulch would not include the stands of wire which caused the playground to be closed the first time.

When the playground was initially constructed, volunteers found that the black mulch put down by volunteers contained metal wires. The playground immediately was closed and the mulch was replaced with brown mulch to protect the children who would use the playground.

Council does have approximately $1,800 in the playground fund that could be used to pay part of the costs of the mulch.

Council members and WRC members are not certain that after the four tons of mulch is spread over the surface that it will bring the playground up to safe playground standards.

"We might have to get more next year," said Linda Schoenberger, WRC member.

Council is still in the process of developing a park ordinance that will include an application form for use of borough property for fundraising events by the public.

Attorney Mike Grant said that the new ordinance specifically targets the use of the park by third party individuals. He said the new ordinance will regulate fees, clean up after the event and portable toilets.

Because Mayor Jonathan Troutman was absent, Council again failed to approve the Cody Wentz Memorial Walk and Festival, a charity event that raises funds for drug awareness, but did approve requests for the use of streets surrounding the Weissport park for the Weissport Redneck Festival which will host the fifth year event on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2. Funds from this event funnel back into Weissport to help provide recreational activities for children of Weissport residents, such as building a playground, gazebo in the park, Easter Egg hunt, Christmas party and Halloween Safety Night.

Last August, family members and friends of the late Cody Wentz held an event in the Weissport borough park to bring awareness to the growing drug problem in the Lehighton area.

Last year the Cody Wentz Memorial Walk and Festival, coordinated by Cody's mom, Lisa Shiffert, raised approximately $3,000 and the proceeds from the event recently were donated to the Lehighton High School drug program in memory of her son, Cody Wentz, who died from an overdose of drugs on Nov. 29, 2010. He was 19 years old.

Council also approved applying for a $44,000 grant that will improve Prospect Street, from Railroad to Allen streets.

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