Upgrades planned for Tiger Town

As community park turns 19 this month

HOWLAND — With Tiger Town in Howland Township Community Park turning 19 years old this month, Howland park commissioners recently prepared for repairs and upgrades that may be needed in the next five years.

The park board met in April with Aaron Chandler, project manager with Playgrounds by Leathers in Ithaca, N.Y., on what renovation work needs to be completed to improve safety and extend the life of the playground unit.

Chandler spent part of the day assessing the play area on the west side of the park. Tiger Town has slides, climbing units and a rubbery mulch surface.

He said while the area is safe, the wood and materials have an average life expectancy of up to 20 years and will need replaced. He said wood over time becomes dry and brittle.

Chandler said he could tell Tiger Town is very well used.

”Having it updated will make a big difference. From what I saw and for how physically old it is, it has been maintained very well and is in good shape. I have seen much worse from newer playgrounds,” Chandler said.

He said routine maintenance has helped keep the playground safe, but at 15 years, ”we tell people to start to begin to replace.”

”At this point it is getting to the end of its useful life,” Chandler said.

Chandler will send the park board a report with recommendations and costs of what work needs done and available options.

Tiger Town was built by the community with volunteer groups coming to work on it. Chandler said with both parents working it is harder for people to donate time.

”We can come in and help do the work,” Chandler said.

Chandler said rebuilds can take up to three weeks.

Park Board Chairman Allen Seman said the final report will let the board know what needs to be replaced first and a timeline of what needs done within a five-year period.

”This will help us to plan for the future,” he said.

Park board members said fundraising will need to be done and volunteers will be needed to help with replacing and fixing sections of Tiger Town.

Deputy Clerk Vivian McDowell said the park budget is limited, with $300,000 coming from a levy. She said Carter Lewis helped with fundraising to get Tiger Town constructed.