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Joint effort to provide play equipment for toddlers
new deh city council park pic
Two lighted sentries guard the entrance to Brit Spaugh Park as part of the Christmas Trail of Lights. Soon, new playground equipment will give the park more appeal throughout the year. - photo by Tribune file photo

In other business Monday night, the Great Bend City Council:
• Heard an economic development report from Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President Jan Peters. She said “it has been a royal year” for Great Bend and she cited the myriad of new businesses that have opened and the improvements to the local economy. There will be more about this report in Wednesday’s Tribune.
 • Approved abatements at: 1412 First St. owned by Jason Martin, for accumulation of refuse; 1720 Harrison St. owned by Deby and Kimberly Wagner, for a motor vehicle nuisance; 819 Odell St., owned by Rose Ann  and Dennis Trantham, for a motor vehicle nuisance; and 1403 21st St., owned by Keith and Cindy Patterson, for a motor vehicle nuisance.
• Reappointed Eric Gotsche, Mathew Briet and John Smith to the Planning Commission. Their terms expire at the end of the year. In addition, Doug Chambers has moved and resigned from the commission an there is a vacancy for someone living outside the city limits, but within three miles of the city.

Calling it a good idea, the Great Bend City Council Monday night joined forces with the Barton County Young Professionals and the Great Bend Rotary Club to make playground improvements at Brit Spaugh Park.
The council approved in-kind support and to fund 10 percent of the $50,000 project. The proposal calls for improving the public playground at the northeast corner of the park by adding a new set of equipment geared for children ages 2-5 known as the Tot Spot.
“Great Bend has a lot of nice playground equipment, but most of it is for ages 5-12,” said Great Bend Rotary Club President Mary Drake. “We wanted to create a space where we could serve toddlers.”
 The two organizations worked together on a joint service project last year and enjoyed the experience. Members have been meeting since June to decide on their next endeavor.
 After much thought, they arrived at the Tot Spot idea.
Built by Noah’s Park, a company the city has worked with in the past, the new area will include slides, climbing walls, a tunnel, a bridge and other features atop a solid bonded rubber mat-like surface. However, the highest platform will be 48 inches off the ground.
“There will be lots of activities to develop motor skills,” Drake said. “We’re really excited about this.”
YP member AJ Chrest they had learned a lot about playground equipment and have worked closely with city officials throughout the planning phase. She outlined what they meant by “in-kind” support.
They sought the city help in ordering the equipment, providing a level surface for it and help with installing it. It would also have to be maintained.
The groups offered volunteer help to building the play area, but it was decided it would be better to just have city crews handle the installation.
Chrest said their goal was to have the equipment in place by late spring or early summer of next year. But, depending on how busy the Park Department personnel are, it may be later than that.
  The organizations will now seek private and grant funding, and in-kind support from several entities on the area.