Cou­ple plans to do­nate land for Kline Town­ship play­ground

The Republican Herald - - LOCAL - BY JIM DINO STAFF WRITER

KELAYRES — Kline Town­ship may get a new play­ground af­ter all.

Joe Wargo, who owns the land where the Kelayres Play­ground stood for many years, told the town­ship su­per­vi­sors Mon­day he would help de­velop a new site.

In April, the su­per­vi­sors be­gan — and stopped — an emi­nent do­main ac­tion to claim the Kelayres Play­ground land for the town­ship af­ter an ef­fort to de­velop a new play­ground in­side the fence at the Kline Town­ship Mu­nic­i­pal Au­thor­ity on Mar­ket Street fell through. Un­der­ground wiring dis­cov­ered on the au­thor­ity site made it un­suit­able for a play­ground.

Joe Wargo’s wife, Ruth, told the su­per­vi­sors the Kelayres Play­ground was dis­man­tled. Some of the equip­ment was over 60 years old.

“The town­ship did say they wanted that (Kelayres) prop­erty be­cause it was play­ground-ready,” Wargo said. “If the town­ship has an acre or two, we will clear and make up to two acres of ground play­ground-ready, at no cost to the town­ship, any­time you want. It can’t be any wet­lands, or vi­o­lat­ing any laws. We will do all of the work with our own ma­chin­ery for free.”

Su­per­vi­sor Dale Wes­ner thanked Wargo for the of­fer, and said there is a plot of land owned by the mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­ity that abuts land Wargo owns on Grove Street.

“That is a nice ges­ture,” Wes­ner said to Wargo of the of­fer. “That (the Grove Street land) is the only other op­tion. It’s go­ing to re­quire a lot of fill, and the fill was killing us” in de­vel­op­ing that land, Wes­ner said.

“There is a lot to do, with the new code. It’s kind of strict with drainage. If the au­thor­ity is open to giv­ing the land, we have to have some­one look at the land, to see if it is suit­able.”

Wes­ner said the town­ship would have to con­sult the state Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion on whether there would be any prob­lem with the runoff.

Joe Wargo said he has to fill in the land.

“We will put the fill in and com­pact it, what­ever is needed,” Wargo said.

Aaron De­balko, au­thor­ity chair­man, said he didn’t see a prob­lem in do­nat­ing the land to the town­ship.

“We were will­ing to work with the su­per­vi­sors on the land out­side our build­ing,” De­balko said. “We are all still Kline Town­ship. The board would have to vote on it, but I don’t see a prob­lem.”

When the su­per­vi­sors were try­ing to build the new play­ground at the wa­ter com­pany, they were go­ing to part­ner with Ryanne’s Hope Foun­da­tion, named for the late Ryanne Cara, who died at age 4 in De­cem­ber 2015. A play­ground was built in her mem­ory at Whis­per­ing Wil­lows Park in Conyn­g­ham and other places.

Wes­ner asked Wargo to put his of­fer in writing.

“We had an in­ter­na­tional inspector (from Ryanne’s Hope) who was go­ing to in­stall and in­spect the play­ground for free,” Wes­ner said. “If you put it in writing, we will take it to them and see if they’d be will­ing for next year. What­ever you do (fill in) would have to set­tle, any­way.”

The play­ground would be meant for chil­dren ages 2 to 12, would be hand­i­capped ac­ces­si­ble and would have park­ing, Wes­ner said.

Con­tact the writer: jdino@stan­dard­; 570501-3585

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