The Grant Town Council, at its meeting last week, agreed to provide to the Grant Playground and Recreation Association funds needed for the group to move forward with the installation of a fence and a load of mulch as part of the Kidtopia playground restoration.

The cost of the fence is just under $1,400 and the mulch is about $1,200, Jason Hodges said. Hodges is the chairman of the non-profit organization.

The quote for the fence included materials and labor from Lusk Fence and the mulch is to be purchased from Largen Irrigation. Hodges said the volunteer group would then provide the labor involved in spreading the mulch on the playground.

The fence will be installed between the toddler and older kids’ areas, along with a small section of fence toward the front of the toddler area near the concession stand. According to Hodges, the fence serves two important purposes.

“It separates the toddler play structures from the older kid structures and detours the older kids from playing on the toddler structures and vice versa.” he said.

Its other purpose, Hodges said, is that it creates a safe boundary for toddler age children that allows for easy supervision.

Hodges thanked the Town of Grant for donating the supplies needed for repairs. He reported the progress the group made in June with two scheduled workdays and with over 50 community volunteers including professional carpenters, machine operators, parents, grandparents and students from various DAR School organizations.

“We replaced most of the rotten wood on the playground,” he said. “We also sanded, painted, repaired existing equipment, rebuilt benches and removed other hazardous items from the premises.”

The restoration is about 75 percent complete. The next phase of work includes building ramps for handicap accessibility, repairing remaining benches, painting and installing two sunshades over the toddler area of the playground.

Plans for later this year include the purchase and installation of motion sensor equipment, a wheelchair accessible swing and two activity panels which promote learning through tactile sensory and music, along with being accessible for children in wheelchairs.

It is the organization’s goal to have the playground restorations completed and all new equipment installed by the third week in October, Hodges said, with a reopening ceremony of Kidtopia on Saturday, October 23.

The group’s next volunteer work day at the playground is Saturday, July 27.

In other business, the Council:

  • Approved the extension of the sidewalk from 5th Street to 6th Street using a 2017 federal grant known as the Transportation Alternatives Program administered through the Alabama Department of Transportation. The town’s share is $9,973, which is 20 percent of the cost and includes the engineering and inspection costs. Mayor Larry Walker pointed out the money being used is left over from the original grant.
  • Approved the nomination of Janice Bailey to the Industrial Development Board to complete the remaining term of David Powell. The term expires November 2021. Bailey is a former member of the Grant Town Council herself.
  • Approved the reappointments of Buddy Garner and Martha Tingle to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
  • Authorized July 5, 2019, as a holiday for town employees.
  • Approved the request of Keri Mason to use Field 1 for the DAR Harvest Festival.
  • Approved Resolution No. 223 authorizing the use of digital signatures on any document generated by or transmitted to the Town of Grant.

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