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Rensselaer Falls playground will be installed this fall

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RENSSELAER FALLS – After months of delays, organizers say the village’s new playground will be ready for children in mid-October.

The one-acre proposed playground in the 300 block of State Street, behind Chapin’s Country Market, 102 Canton St., was purchased by the village in May.

But a lack of volunteers postponed the playground’s construction. Playground committee members were unable to find a contractor to install the playground for free.

“It’s not a typical backyard playground,” committee co-chair Renee L. Stiles said. “It’s a big undertaking, and not something four volunteers can do.”

On Monday, the village board accepted a bid for the project from a local contractor.

“They had enough money left over from the purchase of the land that they were willing to use to help us contract someone,” Mrs. Stiles said.

The old wooden playground at 107 State St. was demolished last year over safety concerns.

With the help of donations and fundraisers, $18,000 in equipment was purchased last year. Playground committee members are hoping to raise $80,000 through donations and grants.

The playground still needs swings, slides, matting and fencing, Mrs. Stiles said.

“Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in getting the grants we applied for,” Mrs. Stiles said. “We’re going to keep trying this year. In the meantime, we have a few fundraisers that we’re planning in the future, that we hope people will come out and support us.”

The committee has begun a letter-writing campaign and plans several bottle drives over the next few months.

“We are very thankful everyone has been so patient,” Mrs. Stiles said. “We are really hoping kids will be able to play on the structure in October, so volunteers and donors can see all the hard work and time they put towards this project has paid off.”

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