Cheshire playground torn down

By Dean Wright -

CHESHIRE — The Village of Cheshire tore out its playground equipment recently due to insurance concerns with safety standards surrounding the playground equipment.

“We had a risk assessment done by our insurance company,” said Village Council President Mandee Roush,” which is standard from time to time. The park was just renovated three years ago and it was actually done under the premise of a grant through Ohio NatureWorks. The former mayor submitted for the grant and was approved. The renovations were done and the new play structure was purchased at around $9,000 and we put another $5 to $6 grand to the shelter house and sidewalks.”

Reportedly, Roush says the village never received grant money from the Ohio NatureWorks program and are attempting to resolve the situation with the organization.

“Now, all the (playground) work has had to be removed,” said Roush. “There were issues with the play (area)…In order to keep (it), we would have had to put in some type of an enclosed area with rubber mulching and other options.”

“Council went back and forth with it,” said Roush. “We didn’t know about it until Nov. 9 and insurance wanted a (decision) immediately. We talked about doing the renovations and getting estimates and what structures would need to come out.”

Roush said members of the council would have had to take time off work and meet with contractors to get estimates, meet with the insurance adjuster and have the adjuster speak with the contractor as well, if it were to correct the playground problem. The village was also concerned about its financial position given it had reportedly not received grant money, according to Roush.

“It was a lawsuit liability,” said Roush. “If the (playground) was not brought to (the insurance company’s specifications), it was not going to insure us (the village).”

As per part of an agreement with the insurance organization, the play structure would need to be destroyed, said Roush.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.

By Dean Wright