At long last, George F. Duffey Park will become the neighborhood park of its dreams, thanks to the Placerville Kiwanis Club.
The tiny park, located at the intersection of Arizona Way and Pleasant Street in Placerville, is part of the Cottonwood development project. The city completed Phase I site improvements for the park in 2012, consisting of grading, irrigation and drainage, curbs, walkways and ramps, fencing and landscaping. It has picnic tables, a sign denoting it as a city park, trash receptacles and handicapped parking. But, until the Jan. 22 Placerville City Council meeting, there wasn’t any playground equipment, because there wasn’t any money to purchase it.
Community Services/Public Works Director Steve Youel approached the Placerville Kiwanis Club for a possible contribution, but the club decided to fund the entire purchase of playground equipment. At Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council accepted the club’s donation of playground equipment, valued at $30,000, and agreed to accept the costs and liabilities associated with its installation, not to exceed $10,000.
“We’ll have swings back in a city park,” said Youel in describing the type of equipment. “That’s exciting and we’ll also have two different deck systems to accommodate different age levels.”
The equipment will be purchased from the Playland Playground Equipment Company and installed by Professor Playground owner/operator Wally Sealock with the assistance of the Public Works Department. A sign acknowledging the Placerville Kiwanis Club for its gift will face Arizona Street and mirror the current city park sign that faces Pleasant Street.
“It’s our goal to support the children of the world, one community at a time,” said Kiwanis president-elect Paul Zappetini. “I run through this park about three times a week and I could see it really needed playground equipment.”
Kiwanis Club President Lori Warden told the council that the playground park project was also an opportunity for the club to work with their Key Clubs and Builders Club to help with park maintenance. “We want our young people to see the value of giving back to the community,” she said.
The park is named for Placerville resident George F. Duffey, who owned and operated the Placerville News Company from 1955 to 1998. The News Company celebrated its 100th year in business in 2012. His daughter and current News Company owner, Mary Meader, was at the meeting,
“On behalf of George Duffey’s family, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Meader.
“I don’t know where this town would be without our service clubs,” said Councilwoman Patty Borelli.
The equipment is being ordered and will be installed as soon as it is received. “We’ve already done the playground safety surfacing and are ready to go,” said Youel. “This is the prime time to put the equipment in so it is ready for families and children in the spring.”
Duffey Park still needs a bike rack, a drinking fountain and three park benches. Placerville Parks and Recreation Department has a gifting program for interested individuals or organizations to donate these types of items. For more information, call 530 642-5232 or visit the Parks and Recreation Department at 549 Main Street.
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530-344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @WSchultzMtDemo.