The latest budget victims: children's playgrounds
Instead of repairing or replacing playgrounds, the city of Clearwater, strapped by budget cuts, is tearing them down. As our colleague Drew Harwell reports here, nine of the city's 34 playgrounds were destroyed within the last five years, city records show. Five more are scheduled for demolition by 2019.
City parks and recreation director Kevin Dunbar defended the demolition as a safety measure. The playground equipment in one case was 17 years old — past a playground's "typical lifespan" of 12 to 15 years, city spokeswoman Joelle Castelli said. Replacing it would have cost between $50,000 and $75,000.
How sad is this? Sure they are saving repair money, but the initial investment is thrown down the toilet. To rebuild those playgrounds later I would imagine would be much costlier than the repair bill.
What do you think of this parents? Should playgrounds be sacrificed in a tight budget year?
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
Follow us on Twitter @WhoaMomma
PHOTO: Rico Johnson, 11, of Clearwater emerges from a slide Friday at the Martin Luther King Jr. playground, next on the hit list. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]