Committee wants more resident input and demand for a swingset or playground at before it invests between $4,000 and $6,000 to implement one.
"That's something we don't have budgeted for at the present time," said parks and recreation director Carl Saldutti.
The committee discussed the possibility of a swingset or play apparatus at its meeting this month after a Lakeview Drive resident wrote in about a need for a swingset or tot lot.
"She has one car in the family and has to walk everywhere to take the children out," said committee member Steve Malagari. "She'd like to stay off the main roads when she has to do that."
Saldutti said it was one person making a request; he said the resident might want to poll others and gather support of a swingset by other potential users.
"I'd love to hear from people in that vicinity," said committee chairwoman Mary Fuller.
Committee member Rich DiGregorio not only is a council member that represents the ward where the neighborhood adjacent to Wissahickon Park is located, but also lives in the neighborhood.
DiGregorio said he would talk to residents of the neighborhood about the swingset.
"There are a lot of young couples moving in, a lot of foot traffic, and a lot of kids on wagons and strollers," said DiGregorio.
Saldutti's department assessed preliminary costs associated with such a recreational structure.
A swingset frame set - two bays and four seats - would cost $1,000 at the low-end just for the frame and as high as $3,000, Saldutti said. He said the price range depends on the diameter of piping, whether it is painted or galvanized and the style and design.
Add $100 per seat and chain to that $1,000 to $3,000 price.
Then, there is the surface, which, Saldutti said, has to be resilient and meet the standard of a 12-inch cushioned surface.
"We estimated about 1,800 square feet of surface area," he said.
And not just any surface can go down: the cushion must be a geotextile material and the wood chips must be American Disabilities Act-compliant.
"We get them from a supply house. They have to be ADA-approved," Saldutti said.
The cushioned surface is estimated around $400. Curbing to hold everything in is around $1,700 for a 40-foot by 45-foot area. The ADA-compliant wood ships are around $300 to $500.
"We assume they would want a bench or two also," Saldutti said.
The resident, whose name was not released, initially requested a tot lot, but said a swingset would be fine.
Malagari and Fuller determined a tot lot to be similar to what exists at Stony Creek Park: an apparatus for youths to climb on and over and moveable parts to ride on.
"It doesn't have to be not quite that elaborate," Saldutti said. "You can go soup to nuts on that."
Fuller said when she was involved with Home and School, there was talk of purchasing new swings for that playground.
"We wanted to purchase it with money we did with a fundraiser, but we were told we were not allowed to do that. With the insurance, it won't be covered," she said.
Saldutti said something like that would not be an issue at all.
"Kids get hurt on swingsets. There's no question," he said. "They get hurt on everything."
Malagari kept focusing on the fact that there is no borough-owned playground or swingset that serves that neighborhood.
"Her request makes sense: that neighborhood doesn’t have a park or a playground area, even one provided by the borough," he said. "You have to go further into downtown to get those types of facilities. The only other closest palce is Knapp."
Saldutti said Fourth Street Park is a little farther out.
"You're talking about a journey now by foot taking 45 minutes," Saldutti said.
If it were to happen, then the committee felt a location away from the basins near Lakeview and Norway drives would be best. DiGregorio suggested near the North Penn Water Authority pumphouse near Gettysburg Drive, or at the end of Knapp Road and Norway Drive under the seclusion of trees.
Saldutti said the purchase and implementation of a swingset would not kill the budget.
"But it hasn't been budgeted for," he said. "We have been spending some money in maintenance repair and contracted services. Those expenditures are ahead of my timeframe. We have to be very careful with that. We have obligations to other contracted services. It's the other things that crop up that we see or don't anticipate that we don't have money for."
Malagari said neighborhood fundraising or an Eagle Scout project are possibilities to cover the costs.
"They try," Saldutti said of Eagle Scout projects that require fundraising or a match, "but that's not always the case. Part of what an Eagle Scout has to do is come up with the means to build the project and do the project. They can't always get what they need."