Councillor’s concerns spark Arichat playground investigation

ARICHAT: A municipally-owned playground in this community will get some attention from Richmond County officials, as a result of concerns raised by one of Isle Madame’s two municipal councillors.

Staffers with the county’s recreation and public works offices will investigate claims of damaged and unsafe playground equipment brought to last week’s annual general session of Richmond Municipal Council by James Goyetche, who noted that multiple residents have raised these issues in recent days.

“There are benches there and playground equipment that aren’t safe for any individuals,” Goyetche told the July 4 meeting at the council chambers in Arichat.

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“The swings are in good shape, but there are benches are there that are rotten. As far as the swings, there are some that are not in good shape, but they can be fixed without any major expense.”

Claiming that the issue raises liability concerns for the municipality, Goyetche suggested that signage should be erected at the Arichat playground site and added that he does not anticipate that a large amount of municipal funds would be required to improve safety in the area.

“I went to the park myself today – it’s not $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of work…But I think we have a responsibility to protect ourselves, and plus, have safety for the residents that use that park,” Goyetche suggested.

“I have local people in the area that are willing [to assist with minor upgrades]– they’re mowing the lawn, they’re doing repairs themselves, because they see the value of the park.”

At the request of Warden Brian Marchand, Goyetche put “a maximum of $10,000” on his formal council motion regarding the playground, but added that he would expect the county’s Recreation and Public Works Departments to return to council if any projected repair figures exceed this level.

“I just want to make sure that it’s safe for the young children and the parents that would utilize that park,” Goyetche insisted. “And if we find something that’s not safe, we should take it out until we find something that’s safe for the public.”