TUPPER LAKE - The finishing touches are being added to Flanders Little Logger Park, and the newly constructed playground is as popular as ever.
"That thing, for not being finished yet, I think is getting more use than anything else in the village of Tupper Lake," village Mayor Paul Maroun said.
During Monday night's village board meeting, village Department of Public Works Superintendent Mike Sparks said his department would do stone work around the lamp posts next week and would finish laying sod on the slide hill shortly thereafter.
Ethan Baldwin tries out the stump walk at Flanders Little Logger Park Tuesday afternoon. Baldwin was one of a dozen children enjoying the park that day.
(Enterprise photo — Shaun Kittle)
The steps leading to the top of the slide hill have been upgraded to make them less slippery when wet.
(Enterprise photo — Shaun Kittle)
A few things have changed in the park in the past month, too.
Maroun noted that the wooden mushrooms, which broke soon after they were installed, have been turned into stumps instead of being replaced by either a set of lily pad step toys or a set of hard, rubber mushroom step toys. The village trustees discussed those options during their July meeting.
The steps that ascend the hill to the top of a slide have also been altered by the company that built the playground, Bears Nature Inspired Playgrounds.
"I, and some other little kids, had problems climbing up the steps because if you had wet shoes on you sort of slid down going up to the slide," Maroun said. "They've put out a wooden spacer so you can step on that. Before, it was just rounded."
Maroun also addressed concerns regarding fractures in the playground equipment. He said he checked with representatives of Bears and was told the fractures were a normal occurrence called "checking."
Village trustee Rick Donah said he was pleased with the progress on the park.
"Mike's been here with the village for 30 years, and he's seen a lot and done a lot," Donah said. "I think it's a nice corner we've been turning in terms of the use of the park, and trying to balance out the needs of the different groups who use it, along with some of the improvements we've made over the last couple of years."
Donah said maintenance issues at the park have been ironed out, and added that people in the community seem to be taking care of the waterfront area.
"The bathrooms in center field are really clean, and everything seems to be improving," Donah said. "I think it's a testament to people taking ownership and looking out for the property. Ultimately now, with cameras in the park, that should minimize some of the problems we've had in the past with the kids that don't seem to respect the law. Hopefully the police department will be diligent with any issues that arise there so that we can implement the park master plan and try to follow some of the plans there."
Construction on Little Loggers Park began last August. The playground cost about $210,000, plus in-kind services from the village. It is part of a larger, $780,000 project to revitalize the waterfront, which includes the cost of the playground and $100,000 for new lights for the softball field.
Surveillance cameras were installed at the park earlier this summer. Police can move the pan-zoom-tilt cameras remotely. They are also motion sensitive, so the cameras can be programmed to automatically turn toward movement and zoom in, theoretically on a person's face. A flat-screen television mounted in the police station enables officers to monitor the cameras 24/7.
Maroun said a grand opening for the park will be scheduled for sometime this fall, after construction is complete.