City Council approves purchase of playground

Dillan Schorfheide, Contributing Writer

The Charleston City Council unanimously approved resolutions for the purchase of a playground to be at Lake Charleston and to set aside $120,000 for the restriping and resurfacing of 10th and 14th streets Tuesday night.

A playground will be placed at Lake Charleston to continue an ongoing effort the city has to make the Lake Charleston area “a destination” and to complement the trails, Combs said.

The Charleston Area Charitable Foundation has given the city $200,000 for the purchase of the playground. Because the council approved the purchase, the city qualifies for a grant of $77,102.54. The deadline for the grant is Nov. 15.

The total purchase of the playground would be $215,686, so with the grant, the playground would only cost the city $138,583.46.

“There will be a lot of work done,” Combs said. “It was a big blessing that it worked out the way that it did.”

Malak said the extra money from the $200,000 could go toward installation and landscaping.

Combs added on to that, saying it will allow the city to make more improvements around the playground without having to borrow or find more money.

Also at the meeting, the city budgeted $120,000 out of the city’s motor fuel tax fund that will go to fixing up 10th and 14th streets. The resurfacing of the streets is scheduled to be done during the summer of 2018 when both Eastern and Charleston High School are not in session, and it will be done by the time the two schools come back for the school year.

The city will conduct asphalt resurfacing on 10th Street from Lincoln Avenue to Madison Avenue and on 14th Street from Harrison Avenue to Madison Avenue.

The council also approved a resolution to authorize the execution of a local agency agreement for federal participation. The agreement states that the city will use its federal secondary transportation urban funds to pay 80 percent of the project’s expenses, and the city will use 20 percent of its motor fuel tax  funds to pay for the project. Mayor Brandon Combs said he estimates that the city’s portion to pay for the resurfacing will be approximately $64,000, which means IDOT will pay the rest of the total price. The project cost estimate was $320,000.

Council member Dennis Malak said the streets on 10th and 14th are asphalt, which does not last long.

He said because it is an area with a lot of families and people, the city wants to make sure they stay safe. The sidewalks on 10th Street are being done, and the resurfacing will increase the value of property in the area and is a good selling feature, Malak added.

“If you’ve ever been down 14th Street, it’s horrible,” Combs said. “My grandfather lives on there, and I can’t remember the last time it’s been done.”

The city council also signed an extension with its current electricity provider, Homefield, that would save households and small businesses $390- $400 a month. That number is expected to keep growing according to city manager, Scott Smith.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at

581-2812 or [email protected]