Couple plans to donate land for Kline Township playground
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.
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