Nick Mancini raised his concerns at Monday night’s council meeting over the playgrounds in the area. He complained of the poor placement of playground equipment that prohibits local children from playing pickup baseball and football games.
During the public comment section of the meeting, Mancini personally asked council members to tour Rolling Hills, Merit Book, West End, Circle and Rosannah Playgrounds and evaluate how good the facilities are.
Circle Playground quickly became the main issue as it recently gained new equipment, provided through a state grant. A borough representative decided the location for the new playground addition, and it was installed by volunteers.
Councilman Ralph Chiappetta made a motion to move the playground equipment further west in order to open up a more spacious area for the children.
Borough Manager Bob Villella acquired an estimate to the move the device for $12,316. When the equipment was installed, however, it was recommended to not be moved again.
Councilman David DeCaria, who grew up on Glenn Avenue, pointed out that the children aren’t playing on regulation size fields but have more than enough room for a pickup game of football or baseball. Council President Brad Ovial agreed with DeCaria, saying that it is just not feasible to provide regulation size fields across Ellwood City.
“You ride your bike, your skateboard or get a ride to wherever the open field is,” Ovial said. “We can’t provide softball fields or baseball fields in every part of town, where would we put them?”
The final decision was against moving the equipment at Circle Playground. It resulted in a 6-1 vote, with Councilwoman Marilyn Mancini opposing. She asked that from now on the location of anything bought or donated to the borough be voted on by council prior to being installed to prevent this problem in the future.
The council did receive a letter on behalf of everyone who plays basketball at Circle Playground, thanking them for the installation of new basketball hoops.
The next agenda-setting meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 11 and regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 18, both at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building.