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Rensselaer Falls acquires land for its playground

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RENSSELAER FALLS – The community’s playground committee hopes to break ground for a new village playground this summer.

The 1-acre proposed playground in the 300 block of State Street, behind Chapin’s Country Market, 102 Canton St., was set to be purchased by the village for $2,000 in February. However, because of concerns over former ownership of the land, the sale did not go through.

On May 10, the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators moved to transfer the property to the village for the playground after an appeal by village officials.

Approximately 20 percent of the property belongs to two adjoining landowners, which the town will have to work with to square off the lot to install a fence.

The fence will protect children from a nearby drainage ditch, according to village officials.

However, there is still more work to be done, committee Co-Chair Renee L. Stiles said.

Playground committee members are looking for local businesses to donate materials or time to set up the playground once assembly begins.

“The playground needs swings, slides, matting and fencing — basically all the bells and whistles that go along with it,” Mrs. Stiles said. “We also need to get the specs and all the instructions on how to assemble it. We’re hoping to find a local contractor to build this if we can’t get enough village participation. It’s going to be a massive undertaking to put it up.”

The old wooden playground at 107 State St. was demolished last year over safety concerns.

“We hope to have it open this summer so the kids have a safe place to play,” Mrs. Stiles said. “So we are so relieved the land issue has been taken care of. We feel like we are making some headway.”

Playground committee members are hoping to raise $80,000 through donations and grants.

With the help of donations and fundraisers, $18,000 in equipment has already been purchased.

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