SOLON– It’s time to put Randall Park back together.
At last week’s meeting, members of the Solon City Council voted to finance the relocation of playground equipment at Randall Park with the expectation that federal funds will cover much of the cost.
The park has been inactive most of the year after spring floods wiped out the sand volleyball court and scoured away playground surfaces.
While the city did not qualify for additional Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds to mitigate the problem, it was awarded federal money to make repairs, and Solon is seeking to divert some of the money toward relocating the play equipment to higher ground within the park.
“We have preliminary approval from FEMA for funding to put this back as it was,” said Solon mayor Cami Rasmussen. “But it’s another step to ask to reallocate that money.”
The city is scheduled to receive a little over $17,000 from FEMA for the removal of the sand volleyball court, and the city would instead like to use the money to offset a $19,875 quote for the installation of the playground.
At last Wednesday’s Nov. 6 regular session, council members authorized an internal loan to pay for the relocation project on an interim basis until the federal funds arrive and the diversion request is approved.
Work has already started on preparing the new playground site, according to public works director Scott Kleppe.
The equipment will be moved south to the area previously occupied by the park’s western parking lot. The driveway will be taken out, leaving only the east parking area for vehicle traffic.
The city contracted with Jay Proffitt Construction to prep the area, and Kleppe said the sand from the volleyball court was actually used as base material to bring the pad for the playground above the flood level.
The new footprint for the playground was provided by Karen Sherman, who spearheaded Lakeview Elementary’s playground renovation and who has offered her consulting services to the city.
The park’s horseshoe pits are also being relocated between the new playground site and the park shelter. In addition, an electrical pole will be removed and the disconnect for the park shelter will be moved.
The sand volleyball court, at this point, will not be coming back.