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New playground not ready

Although the new playground at Clanton City Park looks complete, it is not quite ready to open.

City officials are still waiting for the OK from state inspectors before opening the park. Park supervisor Sally Easterling said she gets questioned about the new playground every day.

“Everyone is very excited about the new park, so much so that we’ve had some people climb the fence and get in there,” she said.

Until the park is officially opened, however, a no trespassing sign has been posted outside of the playground. Officials do believe they will be able to open the part very soon.

Mayor Billy Joe Driver said one reason why the playground hasn’t been opened is because of liability and safety reasons.

“We just want to make sure everything comes out OK before we open the park,” he said.

The park is being paid by a 50-50 matching grant totaling $100,000 from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Land and Water Division.

Obie Littleton, the city’s former economic development director who is assisting with the project, said they still have about $12,000 left that will be used to install benches and other seating areas at the park.

The playground also features a soft landing area for the swings, slides and other equipment. Instead of using sand or gravel, shredded pieces of rubber are used to create a soft, bouncy area if kids were to fall.

“Kids won’t skin their knees if they fall on this,” he said.

Once the new park area is opened, a fence that separates the new and old areas of the park will be taken down.