Children Still Flock To Collegedale's Imagination Station Despite Closed Signs

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - by Gail Perry

Imagination Station, the playground located behind the Collegedale city hall, has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the closure, at various times city officials have blocked it off with yellow tape, orange mesh fencing and orange tape to keep people out. There also have been signs posted that the playground is closed.

 

Last weekend Vice Mayor Tim Johnson told the council that he saw 50-60 kids playing at Imagination Station.

Whenever it is put up, the tape and fencing have been taken down and signs ignored as parents just “turn the other way and let the kids play,” said City Manager Ted Rogers. Since people have been warned and advised, he said it is really "play at your own risk."

 

The vice mayor asked the city manager to post more and larger sings that people will be sure to see at all  entrances, and additional ones that say “Play at your own risk.” If you have the playground closed and have signs posted, City Attorney Sam Elliott said if a child got sick from playing there, the city most likely would have no liability.  

 

The design for the replacement of a sewer force main in Collegedale had been based on placement that followed the old path. When the environmental design assessment was done during construction of the new one, it was found that 700 feet would now be in a swamp and under water at all times. This caused the need for moving the path it will take. The commissioners approved a change order for the work for $34,950, which will come from the sewer enterprise fund, not the general fund, said the vice mayor.

 

Another change order was approved for installing a culvert under a runway at the Collegedale Municipal Airport. Extra materials and extra excavation were needed from what had been anticipated causing a price increase of $21,813 over the original estimate of $250,312 for the project. Because the work was done with a grant, an amendment to the grant will be made for the additional cost. This grant provides 95 percent of the cost with Collegedale contributing five percent. The amendment will be subject to the same split which will cost the city $1,091.

 

A product has been tested and shown to extend the life of asphalt roads by around five years. It delays cracking and repels water that causes deterioration. The commissioners approved a contract for applying this asphalt rejuvenator to all roads that have been paved in Collegedale over the past five years. The cost to pave one mile of a road is around $900,000 and the cost to treat six miles of roads with the new product will cost the city $104,000. The price is included in the paving budget.

 

On the second and final vote, Collegedale’s sign ordinance was amended to meet federal requirements. City Attorney Sam Elliott said that the evaluation of a sign cannot be based on what it says.


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