Gates to the South Ward Playground were locked last month after the Tamaqua Borough Council heard about several safety issues.
Volunteers have been pitching in to remedy the problems, and it’s likely that the playground will reopen by June.
“It sounds like they’ve gotten quite a bit accomplished there since our last council meeting,” borough Manager Kevin Steigerwalt said at Tuesday’s meeting.
Electrical issues have been resolved, buildings have been cleaned, grass has been cut and emergency lights are being repaired, he noted.
Some equipment is damaged but Steigerwalt said the borough will have those items replaced.
“It seems to be coming along,” he said of the park cleanup. Volunteers, along with Tamaqua Raiders STEP UP and Tamaqua Elks, have been helping with efforts.
The playground has been closed since April 20, the day after Councilman Ron Bowman shared his concerns with council.
“I hate to be the one to say that but the place is deplorable, it’s horrible and it’s being completely ignored,” Bowman told council last month.
Council ordered the park locked and asked the South Ward Playground Association – which oversees the playground – to reorganize. The association expects to reorganize May 10.
Bowman said he and Councilman Robert Amentler were on hand for a gathering at the playground April 23. They attended as neighborhood residents, he said.
While there, Bowman said he learned that individuals weren’t aware of bylaws and didn’t have a record of finances.
Councilwoman Mary Linkevich suggested training for playground associations.
“I think everyone goes up and down in volunteers and people don’t know – they’re trying to help,” Councilwoman Mary Linkevich said.
Council President Brian Connely agreed.
“There are some programs available through the state and we can bring some people in and have a workshop,” Connely said.
He hopes to arrange a meeting.
“It’s nice to see them getting back on track with getting the park in shape,” Connely said. “The next part is reorganization. We have to get a working association with officers and everything else.”
Linkevich asked whether the playground would be open by June.
“We hope so,” Steigerwalt said.
“We’ll do everything possible to help them get it open again,” Connely said.