Termites, hungry squirrels shut down city parks

Two of Sanford’s most popular park facilities are closed for repairs, one indefinitely, the other until the end of April.

Centennial Park

The railing at the Centennial Park gazebo is failing. An inspection revealed the entire gazebo had severe termite damage and the structure was leaning. The gazebo also did not meet today’s standards for wind load or for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

An architect estimated the cost to complete the repairs would be two to three times the cost of replacing the structure.

The Parks and Grounds Operations Division of Public Works has applied for a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish the old structure and $150,000 has been set aside in next year’s budget to replace the gazebo. The certificate will help staff to determine if the gazebo is considered an historic structure which will also determine what can be done to the structure.

The gazebo is fenced off for public safety purposes. There is not a timetable on when the project will be completed.

Fort Mellon Park playground

The playground portion of Fort Mellon Park is closed through the end of the April. The splash pad, basketball courts and other facilities remain open.

 The wooden arch climber on the playground had wood rot around several of the climbing rungs creating a hazard for the public.

In addition, the playground surface had deteriorated because of heavy traffic, the Florida sun and squirrels eating the material (damn you squirrels!). There have been several repairs to the surface in recent years, but the it needs to be replaced.

Installation of a new metal and plastic climber was completed April 8.

Replacement of the playground surface began April 11 and is expected to be complete by the end of month.


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