April 17, 2014

Mostly clear

Medina parents raise $6,260 for park equipment

MEDINA — Fred Greenwood Park will get a new playground, thanks to the efforts of a group of parents.

The Moms Club of Medina — West started raising funds to replace the playground in 2009, and the group was able to raise $6,260 before members came to City Council to ask for funding to complete the project.

A rendering from BYO Recreation shows what the new playground at Fred Greenwood Park in Medina will look like. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Ellen Nolan, a group member, said two children got broken arms while playing on the aging equipment in past years.

“It can’t be reused, it’s in that bad of shape,” she said.

City Council members voted Monday night to pay $20,229.20 for the cost of a new playground structure for children ages 4 to 12, plus $4,500 for representatives from BYO Recreation to supervise installation.

The parents’ group used the $6,260 to pay for a separate structure designed for even younger toddlers, those ages 2 to 5. Nolan said a playground designed specifically with toddlers in mind doesn’t exist in the city. She said her children, who are 2 and 4, love to play on the splash pad, but the playground isn’t designed for them.

“There wasn’t a lot of playground equipment for toddlers, and they equipment that was there was not in good shape,” Councilman Jim Shields, 4th Ward, said.

Anyone with questions about the Moms Club or the new playground is urged to contact club president Jennifer Carter at jenncarter1981@yahoo.com.

In other action, Council approved the 2014 $33 million five-year budget. City Finance Director Keith Dirham said one of the larger spending increases will come from health care costs, which will go up about $500,000 next year.

Health care costs the city about $2 million and will increase to $2.5 million next year, Dirham said.

Last year, the city changed health care providers so costs would not increase as much, switching from Summa Health Care to United Healthcare.

“This year, we were able to get about the same rate as the company we were with,” Dirham said. “We didn’t have to make a change this time.”

Dirham said the budget projects further increases to health care costs, and the costs are rising faster than inflation.

“The question keeps coming back: How long does this have to go on?” he said.

Council President John Coyne said he wanted to assure the community that members are “taking the steps necessary to ensure services are provided without income tax increases.”

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.