• October 16, 2019

Parks Foundation putting in new playgrounds - Odessa American: City Of Odessa

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Parks Foundation putting in new playgrounds

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Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 4:46 pm

Since its inception, the Odessa Parks Foundation has helped to put in numerous playgrounds in Odessa parks, and there are plans for two more on the way.

Odessa Parks and Recreation Director Steve Patton said the foundation will be putting in a new playground in the coming months at Royalty Park, 500 Park Ave. The park as it stands doesn’t have a playground, Patton said.

The playground is the exact same as the one at Ramirez Park, Patton said, including a climbing structure, swings and slides, which is typical with what the department is doing with all of the neighborhood parks. The equipment has already been ordered and is being manufactured, and Patton said they expect the equipment to arrive in about six weeks.

“Hopefully before Christmas we’ll have it in and open for everybody in the neighborhood to enjoy,” Patton said.

Patton said the playground cost about $262,000, paid entirely out of the Odessa Parks Foundation dollar fund. The foundation was originally established in July of 2007, and is funded through an extra dollar added to each property owner’s water bill in the city limits, of which owners have the option to opt out. Patton said the foundation averages about $16,000 to $18,000 a month in revenue.

There is also still more money set aside in the fund for new playground equipment at Crump Park, 510 W. 10th St. Patton said they are waiting for the water utility district to kill a water line in the park that goes to an old pump station, as they can’t put a playground on top of that active water line.

“The reason I’m being so difficult about putting that playground equipment at that particular corner is because it will leave the rest of that park open space to that south and that would allow for field sports and practice,” Patton said. “If we move the playground further to the south it’ll take up more open space and limit possible activities.”

The cost of playground equipment has gone up substantially since the program began, Patton said, but the foundation is typically able to do one playground a year, sometimes two. Since its inception, Patton said the foundation had been able to put new playgrounds into 19 of Odessa’s 36 parks.

“This is high-quality playground material,” Patton said. “They’re gonna be here 30 years from now.”

Patton said he gets calls from people asking about the dollar donation program weekly.

“It’s stretching our dollar and this is one of the best programs in the entire state,” Patton said.

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