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Brocton approves playground equipment purchase

Brocton Mayor Craig Miller

BROCTON — After several months of evaluating the options at its disposal, the Village of Brocton has approved the purchase of new playground equipment at Ryckman Park.

A purchase of equipment from Jeffrey Associates, a playground equipment company based in Pennsylvania, was approved by the Village Board at a recent meeting. The Board will apply insurance reimbursement from the damaged equipment in the amount of $20,819, with an additional payment of $14,809 in available American Rescue Plan Act funding. As of last month, the Village had approximately $50,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funding still available, and the funding is set to expire if not allocated by this fall.

Following a winter storm with heavy winds that ravaged the village, Mayor Craig Miller led the way in the pursuit of new playground equipment for the park located in the center of the village. He previously joked, “I learned a lot about playgrounds.”

Village Clerk Scott Jagoda estimated nearly $45,000 of damage was caused to the playground by a winter storm earlier this year, but the Village only received $20,819 from its insurance as reimbursement. The Village then removed the damaged equipment and closed off the playground while awaiting a resolution to the matter.

The new equipment will be provided under a state contract, which bypassed the need for the Village Board to obtain bids for the equipment. The Village did receive a quote from another company that was much higher than what was approved by the Board. Jagoda called the approved purchase “considerably lower” than what the other option was.

Residents of Brocton and Portland also joined the cause to create the Ryckman Park Revitalization Committee. Led by co-chairs Nicole Young and Emily Pokoj, the Committee is seeking additional members to provide input for future improvements to the park. Miller directed the Committee to focus on long-term plans for Ryckman Park, while the Village would focus on the immediate playground replacement in order to be operational as soon as possible.

The Village is optimistic that installation of the new equipment will be complete by the summer. Village workers recently repaired the steps to the Park’s gazebo and the merry-go-round. The Village will continue evaluating a new sign for the park.

Ryckman Park will host the Arch and Cellar Day event on June 1, as well as the summer concert series presented by the Ahira Hall Memorial Library.

In other recreation items of note, upon the recommendation of Youth Recreation Director Maleah Vazquez, the Village approved the hiring of returning employees Connor Huels and EmmaLee Abbey as part of the summer recreation staff. The Village Recreation Committee will interview candidates to fill three remaining positions on the summer staff.

The Village also adjusted its Committee appointments, with Trustee Drew Ransom, the most recently elected member of the Board, taking over Recreation Committee responsibilities from newly appointed Trustee Ed Bellando. A new fee schedule for code enforcement was also accepted by the Board, and an increase to a Village bond resolution was also approved.

Also of note in the Village, Bill Hussey is stepping down as Brocton Fire Chief. Miller thanked Hussey for his service to the Village.

The next meeting of the Village Board will be Monday, June 17, at 6 p.m., rather than that Wednesday because of the Juneteenth holiday.

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