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East County Wednesday, Sep. 23, 2009 8 years ago

Park repairs may cost $15,000

by: Pam McTeer

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Even a week after torrents of rain flooded East County neighborhoods, Greenbrook Adventure Park was still a sight to behold.

Speckled foam pieces emerged like crags from beneath the playground’s turf area. Much of the rubber surface of the basketball court was either pushed out of place or missing altogether.

But repairs to the facility are on the way.

On Sept. 17, CDD 4 supervisors authorized Lakewood Ranch Town Hall to spend up to $15,000 on repairs on the park, which is still open for residents’ use.

“It’s going to be done (quickly),” CDD 4 Supervisor Mike Spring said. “It’s putting things back in place, not building things again.”

The playground equipment itself, officials said, is structurally safe, and all safety concerns have been addressed. Several places along trails surrounding the park were washed out by the flooding and have been closed off.

Last week, Town Hall officials were checking with contractors about potential repairs and determining whether the CDD’s insurance policy for the park would cover repairs to any of the playground equipment, including to the new basketball court that was installed just a few months ago.

Ryan Heise, director of operations for Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, said Town Hall would consider all its options for improving the facilities. While repairs will be made, some changes to equipment, such as the flooring of the basketball court, may be changed to better accommodate future flood scenarios.

“Sustainability is the word of the day,” Heise said.

Data collected from the flood shows that water levels reached a near 100-year floodplain level at the location, said Mike Kennedy, an engineer with WilsonMiller.

“We had heard reports of anywhere from six to nine inches across the Ranch,” Kennedy said. “It’s not just what falls in this area. With the Braden River coming through Lakewood Ranch, that water is coming from the east also. When (rainfall) gets to those levels, the park is intended to flood. The timing was bad (with the recent installation of the basketball court).”

Whether flood insurance will cover repairs or not, CDD 4 supervisors said storms over the Sept. 12-13 weekend could not have been anticipated.

“You can build for a once-in-a-year event, but the cost for doing so is usually much greater than the cost of repairing it,” Spring said.

Contact Pam McTeer at [email protected].

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