Berlin Playground Reports Reviewed

BERLIN – The town’s public works crews are making minor improvements to playground equipment at Berlin’s parks following an annual playground inspection report.

The Berlin Parks Commission this week reviewed reports regarding equipment at Henry Park and Stephen Decatur Park. While there were numerous issues noted, they primarily related to chipped paint and loose screws. Jimmy Charles, the town’s public works director, said his staff was finishing up planting but would soon be checking the playground equipment.

“We go back and start addressing a lot of these issues and getting them up to date,” he said.

The commission on Tuesday reviewed the annual inspection report from Playground Guardian. Charles said the report identified 32 issues at Henry Park and 49 violations at Decatur Park. He noted that last year there were 51 violations at Decatur Park.

He said the top priority item noted in the report related to a piece of equipment at Henry Park, where inspectors said a gap by a post could lead to a head entrapment situation. He said that would be reviewed and the other lesser priority items, such as loose screws and items with chipped paint, would be addressed as well.

“We just need to go back through,” Charles said.

Commission members noted these types of minor repairs were made every year. Town Administrator Mary Bohlen said some of the items in the report would be flagged every year, as certain pieces of equipment had been installed before spacing standards were in place. She added that staff would address the items marked as high priorities in the report first.

“I’m glad that you’re addressing these,” commission member Patricia Dufendach said. “I’m glad we know what’s out there.”

She said she was pleased the issues identified in the report were relatively minor.

“So many of these issues are dealing with chipping paint and rust,” she said. “I’m glad that that’s most of it.”

Bohlen said the inspectors tended to err on the side of caution.

“As do we,” she said. “Sometimes it seems to defy common sense but you can almost guarantee somebody somewhere got hurt in a similar manner, so it’s an abundance of caution.”

Commission members on Tuesday also took the opportunity to thank volunteers who’d helped out in the parks and throughout town during Take Pride in Berlin Week.

“It was nice to see everybody come out,” Dufendach said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.