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Childs play is costly deal for City of Manteca
William Martin Park in North Manteca is a leading candidate for new playground equipment after all of the equipment that was at the park was removed for safety reasons. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Child’s play isn’t cheap.

Manteca is into the 13th year of upgrading playground equipment at the city’s various parks that predate 1990.  Some playgrounds had fallen into disrepair due to extensive vandalism. Many no longer met new mandatory safety standards established in 2000 by the State of California and Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The price tag for the 25 parks targeted for upgrades including new playground equipment back in 2000 was pegged at $4 million. That included making other park improvements in addition to the playground upgrades. After spending $2.2 million and completing just 10 playgrounds, the city in 2009 opted to concentrate almost exclusively on playgrounds to accelerate the process in response to concerns expressed by parents about older equipment still in place.

Since 2009 the city has have replaced a half dozen more playgrounds.

There are about eight left including William Martin Park in North Manteca that city staff indicated is a leading candidate for the next round of improvements.

That’s because safety considerations last year forced the city to remove the last remaining playground equipment leaving the neighborhood park with none.

Manteca already has $470,000 already set aside for additional playground work. Another $100,000 will be added if the City Council later this month approves the 2013-14 fiscal budget.