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Playground equipment tops wish list

January 13, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Adding playground equipment by Funkstown Memorial Park's newest pavilion and finding money to repair the town's three wastewater lagoons heads up Mayor Robert L. Kline's wish list for 2004.

The Mayor and Town Council last winter voted to install a third pavilion at the park, and a road adjoining Beaver Creek Road to the park.

Now, Kline said, since the other park pavilions are near playground equipment, the town plans to install a third set near the newest pavilion sometime this spring.

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Town Council member John Phillips III said the park gets used nearly every day and it's important that it have enough playground equipment for the town's children.

"The playground stuff is not just for the park. It makes it nicer for the kids," Phillips said.

Kline said a swing gate, to be placed at the new entrance to the park, off Beaver Creek Road, will be installed in mid-January to help keep people out of the park at night.

Three lagoons, which control the town's wastewater, still are in need of repair, he said.

The town's clerk, Brenda Haynes, will survey townspeople to find out if they fall into the low- to moderate-income bracket needed if the state is to get an $800,000 Community Development Block Grant to put toward lagoon repair, Kline said.

Town Council member Robert D. Rodgers Jr. said the town's delay in fixing the lagoons stems from the town's size and its subsequent lack of funding for repairs.

"The lagoons is a major thing we've got to get worked out, that's the biggest thing," he said.

The state Department of the Environment said there's a leak in the lagoons, but the town's maintenance crew has not been able to locate it, he said.

"If the lagoon leaks we're gonna have to hook up with the city of Hagerstown and we don't want to do that," Town Council member Richard Nigh said.

He said it's very important that the lagoons be fixed.

Funkstown Maintenance Supervisor Roger Griffith has said the clay basin and shore of the two less-raw lagoons are eroding, causing them to leak.

Some work has been performed to patch areas of the 6-foot-deep, 100-yard-wide lagoons, but it isn't sufficient, he has said.

"It's just like putting a Band-Aid on a sore. It's going to come off," Griffith has said.

Kline said it will cost the town $1 million to fix the lagoons.

He has said about half of the $1 million needed for the repairs would be used to desludge, drain and remove the existing basin and shore of the lagoons.

Phillips said repairing the lagoons would keep the town in compliance with state codes, which he said is important.

The chlorination system for the lagoons recently was replaced, Kline said. He said that was a much needed improvement for the safety of the workers responsible for its maintenance.

At Funkstown Fire Co., Capt. Paul Hottinger said the crew will be busy this year getting its new firetruck up to order.

He said the fire company got the Urban Interface Pumper, a four-wheel drive firetruck that carries water to the scene of a fire, in November with $198,000 in grant money it received last year.

Through the Assistance to Firefighters grant program, the Funkstown fire company received $97,983, which it's putting toward buying a thermal imaging camera that firefighters can use during fires to locate victims, hot spots and members of their company.

Hottinger said the company will purchase 52 SCBA breathing cylinders and 25 sets of protective gear, such as pants, coats and boots, later this year.

He said the fire hall still will hold bingo every Thursday night and its chicken barbecues will begin in April.

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