OCEAN CITY – Between Tow Boat US and council members stepping up to fund additional beach toys and challenging others, more beach toys may make it to the beach by next summer to join the recently approved dinosaur structure.
At this week’s Mayor and Council meeting, Councilman Doug Cymek announced Tow Boat US owner Greg Hall has extended a $1,000 pledge to fund additional beach toys and has asked other local businesses to match that number.
“That money is to be used to buy a second set of recreational equipment to be put on the beach. He asked me to say, ‘it is not just an obligation for the Boardwalk merchants’, but he hopes some of the other merchants throughout the town would participate as well,” Cymek said. “We are off to a great start. I am personally going to put in $500, and I encourage anybody else who is in the position to do so kindly step forward to contact me and let me know.”
Following Cymek’s announcement this week, Recreation and Parks Commission Chair and Councilman Joe Mitrecic said Recreation and Parks Director Susan Petito is currently attending the Recreation and Parks conference.
“Every imaginable playground equipment dealer will be there, so she will be able to get a firsthand look at things that could possibly be put out there [beach], and we will have something for next year to put back out there,” he said.
Councilman Brent Ashley concluded the topic by stating he will match Cymek’s $500 contribution.
In April of 2013, the Recreation and Parks Commission agreed to not have the wooden playground structures, referred to as beach toys, return to the beach off the Boardwalk that summer once staff brought to the elected officials’ attention how the structures have become safety hazards as well as a nuisance with late-night shenanigans.
During the Recreation and Parks Commission meeting in May of 2013, the commission directed staff to examine potential boulder playground equipment to present to the Mayor and City Council, along with a list of interested donors, costs and turnaround time of the different products.
A couple weeks ago, Petito presented the opportunity to purchase a dinosaur play structure that meets all of the requirements mandated by Public Works, Risk Management, Engineering and Parks. The structure includes three dinosaur climbing sections of a head, ribs, tail and three climbing eggs. The council voted unanimously to approve the purchase.