The Helper Express Playground, an all-access playground that is being installed to give children of all abilities a place for equal play, has been a project in the works for some time now.
One issue that the playground committee has faced is the location of the park. During the previous Helper City Council meeting, council members attempted to approve the location in the current Locust Street Park. However, there was not a quorum as some council members were not present.
During the meeting that was hosted on Oct. 6, the council approached this topic once again. Councilwoman Michelle Goldsmith began by saying that she hoped her fellow council members had taken the time to read the survey and comments, especially the one with 107 votes from the Helper community.
Though the Helper City Park did receive the most votes, Councilwoman Goldsmith stated that she believes it would be a good idea to have the playground installed in the Locust Street Park.
She also stressed that while many are under the impression that Helper City is buying the equipment, that is not the case. Helper City is providing the property, but everything else is coming from fundraising done by the Friends of the Helper Area, a nonprofit organization.
One of the details that Councilwoman Goldsmith also wanted the council to be aware of is that sand is not going to be placed under the playground equipment as they are creating an area that is wheelchair accessible.
She then stated that they must place the equipment order by Nov. 15 for the Friends of the Helper Area to get a discount. The company that is providing the equipment informed Councilwoman Goldsmith that they are currently delivering into May. Taking longer to make a decision regarding the location could delay the delivery until July or August.
Councilwoman Malarie DeVincent wanted the council to consider that Helper is a Tree City and installing additional playground equipment at the city park would mean that they would likely lose trees. On the other hand, putting the all-access playground in the Locust Street Park would mean that they have an opportunity to plant more trees to create more shade.
Further discussion passed between the council regarding the location, though the Locust Street Park was ultimately approved.