Donated playground may find a home on Lake Shore Drive

Sussex. Councilman Walter Cleary says the borough-owned site now under consideration is safer than Brookside Park.

Sussex /
03 Dec 2020 | 03:44

The Sussex council looking into placing a donated playground on a parcel of borough property on Lake Shore Drive, and has authorized the borough engineer to visit the site.

The playground is being donated by Alexandra’s Community Build Playgrounds, which works to “bring play to underserved areas,” Lori Hrbek said at the Nov. 17 council meeting. She said the non-profit has built 30 playgrounds in the tristate area. Alexandra’s will donate the playground equipment and safety surfacing.

The playground will be built in two phases. The first phase, provided by Alexandra’s, is a playground for children ages 5 to 12. The organization would then leave Sussex Borough with the plans for Phase 2, which is a playground for ages 2 to 5.

The borough was initially looking to put the playground in an area of Brookside Park near the ball fields, but Councilman Walter Cleary suggested the Lake Shore Drive property instead. Street parking is limited, Cleary said, but kids can get there on their bicycles. The Lake Shore site would be easier to secure, he said, since residents could report any problem that arises.

“If you bring in the state police and ask them this spot or that spot, they’re going to say over here by the lake,” Cleary said. The Brookside Park spot “is not conducive to a secure area. I don’t care if it has better parking. It’s a crime waiting to happen.”

Mayor Edward Meyer said the borough may be able to come up with a solution for the limited parking issue.

The initial phase of the playground is expected to be about 50 feet by 60 feet. Hrbek said the second phase is expected to be of a similar size.

“We need to know what that space is before we go further,” Hrbek said.

Councilwoman Linda Masson asked if Alexandra’s could check the site before paying the engineer to look, but Meyer said they need the engineer to determine how much space is available.

He said when the council initially discussed the playground, he hadn’t thought of the Lake Shore site.

“When I see all the kids and their moms and their dads walking by there, I think it would be a good location,” Meyer said.

“When I see all the kids and their moms and their dads walking by there, I think it would be a good location.” Mayor Edward Meyer