SHERIDAN — Youngsters in this village now have a few more options when it comes to free time activities, thanks to the efforts of the Sheridan Community Fire Department.
Last week, firefighters volunteered their time and effort to erect a new playground near the village offices. Though built on village property, the project cost the town nothing, thanks again to the firefighters.
According to firefighter and Assistant Village Superintendent Ed Lingeman, the equipment and labor were both paid for with funds raised by the fire department.
“The firefighters themselves purchased the equipment,” Lingeman said. “We’ve always wanted to do something in that park because the equipment there was pretty obsolete.”
The fire department raised money for the project — which wound up costing about $1,500, including installation, concrete work, and wood chip base — through a series of fundraisers. Throughout this year, the department held pancake breakfasts and similar events to garner the needed funds.
When an elementary school in Belding purchased new playground equipment, the Sheridan Community Fire Department was there to bid on the older equipment. According to Lingeman, that equipment is just over a decade old and still much nicer than the equipment that was previously in Sheridan.
“They had it up for bid and we as a group had agreed to spend X amount of dollars,” Lingeman said. “We ended up being awarded the bid, then got permission from the village to assemble and place the equipment on that property. It wasn’t exactly new, but it wasn’t really old, either. It’s pretty new stuff and up to code.
“There are a few cosmetic dings on it, but the kids will still be able to enjoy it,” he added.
In addition to the playground equipment obtained in the bid, the department also managed to come up with a couple extra swings and teeter-totters, which will be installed next spring.
The village’s Department of Public Works is putting in a layer of wood chips around the playground for safety’s sake; chips the city already had on hand. In the spring, once that first layer of chips have “settled,” plans call for another layer of higher quality wood chips to be installed.
Village President Susan Wyckoff-McFarland said the playground is a nice addition to the community.
“This was a good project for the department, and the community,” Lingeman said.