Winter slows improvements to Huckleberry Park

Posted: Feb. 28, 2014 5:54 pm Updated: Mar. 21, 2014 7:14 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- A recent brief ground thaw allowed the Hannibal Parks and Recreation to continue exploring upgrades for Huckleberry Park.

Hannibal Parks and Recreation has budgeted about $40,000 to buy four new pieces of ADA compliant equipment and resurface Huckleberry Park. Andy Dorian, director of Hannibal Parks and Recreation, said during the Nov. 20 City Council meeting that he hoped to have the project completed by late winter or early spring. The surge of winter weather has kept Dorian and his staff from collecting the measurements needed for resurfacing. He now hopes to have the project completed by May.

"We still have to go out for bid on the turf," Dorian said. "That's been on hold because there's been so much snow on the ground."

The department has already bought a new swing set and a musical piece of playground equipment for just under $10,000. The department will accept bids for an inclusive merry-go-round and a disk swing in the coming weeks. Dorian said wheelchairs may roll onto the merry-go-round and that there's a backing for safety purposes. The disk swing resembles a tire swing, but offers a more stable surface for a wheelchair to roll onto.

"They're great pieces of inclusive equipment so that kids all play alongside each other," Dorian said.

The department will also keep most of the standing equipment.

The money from the project came from an unexpected savings from truck purchases. Parks and Recreation had budgeted $90,000 to buy two new 2013 one-ton Dodge Ram trucks. The department opted to trade in a 2008 F350 and a 2008 F450, which brought the final bid from Poage Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep to $52,792.