keep out

City staff placed “keep out” and “no trespassing” signs at the park’s playground in 2020 after safety concerns prompted officials to close the playground.

Rossville is hosting an online auction to raise funds to build a new city playground.

Council member Michael Hicks is spearheading the fundraising and design selection for the new playground after Rossville City Council, in March 2020, authorized demolition of the city’s playground at the city park on Ellis Road because the equipment was dilapidated. He has been working with two different subsidiaries of PlayCore to obtain preliminary designs and cost estimates.

“We are trying to get more bang for the buck,” Hicks said. Although the difference in cost between the two designs is at most $15,000, one design is more complex and would require professional installation while volunteers could install the equipment for the other design themselves and would allow for more equipment.

The current fundraiser is an auction on the Operation Rossville Playground Facebook page for a set of granite kitchen countertops. The auction concludes Friday, July 2, at 5 p.m.

Hicks acknowledged that the city may not complete the playground by the end of the year, but he feels compelled to try to meet that deadline. Area children need things to do and a safe environment where they can play, he said.

He said city officials want to include a workout station at the playground so that park visitors are able to work out and to walk around the track.

City officials seek to raise between $80,000 and $90,000 to build the new playground; to date approximately $8,000 has been raised, he said.

They have sold barbecue and auctioned cakes previously as fundraisers.

Hicks will also reach out to area businesses about in-kind donations, such as Marble Valley Stone's, to assist with the project, he said.

In 1999 the city raised funds to build and maintain the playground, and it lasted for the anticipated 20-year lifespan of such playgrounds, City Clerk Sherry Foster has said. As the maintenance funds dwindled, the city anticipated the expense of building a new facility.

Catherine Edgemon is assistant editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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