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All-abilities park plan moves forward

By James Day 

A Silverton Rotary proposal to build an “all-abilities” playground in Old Mill Park near the Silverton Community Pool has won the approval of the City Council.

Councilors at their April 4 meeting approved the site after hearing a report from Rotary that featured renderings and charts on the concepts that they hope the park will include.

The playground will feature multiple wheelchair-accessible amenities, strength-building components and musical elements. It aims to foster use by as broad a group of users as possible.

The $380,000 project will be paid for by city parks system development charges, community and Rotary fundraising and urban renewal funds. The urban renewal piece will be reviewed at a future meeting.

Two other city projects experienced funding snags at the session.

• First, councilors looked at bids for a water line and pump project that will connect Silver Creek with the water treatment plant. The city already has a $1.2 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant in hand, but the bids came in so high, more than 100% percent over budget, that the city will seek to acquire an extension of the grant while it seeks other ways to get the price for the project closer to its original $2.3 million budget.

• Construction bids also came in too high for the $40,000 overlook project that will replace a retaining wall and add amenities along the path between the library and Silver Creek. Councilors elected to refer the project back to the Public Works Department to see if it could be accomplished in-house.

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