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Petition Circulating for $350,000 Kids Kingdom

Petition would be filed March 9 to set a Town Meeting if $500,000 proposal fails.

A new petition began circulating Sunday to set the date for a Town Meeting to approve $350,000 to renovate Kids Kingdom if the fails.

The petition will be submitted on March 9 but only if the $500,000 proposal fails, according to Zoning Commission member Stanley Parker, who is helping to circulate the petition.

If the petitioners are able to obtain signatures from at least 3 percent of the registered voting population of Brookfield (293 signatures), then, by section C9-5 of the Town Charter, the motion would go to a Town Meeting, where residents can vote on the proposal.

If the measure passes at the Town Meeting, it will still need approval from the Board of Finance (BOF), whose chairman, Bill Tinsley, is also collecting signatures.

“The petition is for a special Town Meeting for the purpose of putting forth an alternative proposal,” Tinsley said. If the $500,000 proposal fails at referendum next week, “There’s an interest in making sure we get something new on the table,” in order to ensure that a new playground is installed before the summer.

Tinsley said he was confident that the same could be built for less than $350,000.

“The 350-number has plenty of padding,” he said. “It still has a contingency in it and it has a lot of things that I know will get donated,” he suggested, such as plants and benches.  

The bulk of the savings would come from , similar to the one used in the original , but without the difficulties of fundraising and lobbying the town for the land, Tinsley pointed out.

“We have a list of about 120 names of volunteers to help us put this [volunteer effort] together,” Parker said, adding that even if the existing measure passes on March 8, “We’ll be able to show we have the volunteers to do this and maybe change things a bit” before the project goes out to bid.

According to Tinsley, he and “eight to 10” other people are putting together a steering committee to coordinate every aspect of a volunteer effort, including finding and organizing volunteers for bid package preparation, demolition and removal, site preparation and surfacing, assembly, landscaping and finishing, and a committee to organize hospitality for the volunteers and a grand opening party when the new playground is complete.

Tinsley said he expects to have this organization set and begin signing up volunteers before Tuesday’s referendum or shortly thereafter.

“It’s about being able to hit the ground running and get this done for the town,” he said.

Lawrence A. Miller March 03, 2011 at 08:11 PM
Bob - I did raise this issue a few weeks ago in an email to Bill Tinsley. You and others may check this out on the EPA website at: http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/reregistration/cca/ Here are some details: Chromated arsenicals were widely used as a wood preservative since the 1940's. The EPA estimated in 2004 that these products were used on 99% of treated wood, so it's a reasonable expectation that the wood used to construct Kids Kingdom in 1989 was treated with these products. Chromated arsenicals are heavy metals (such as lead and mercury) and they are classified as acutely toxic, skin and eye irritants, and carcinogens. The EPA has now banned their use for any residential wooden structures and specifically mentions playgrounds, picnic tables, etc. I'm concerned that the demolition of Kids Kingdom by volunteers could present a risk that might be better left to licensed insured professionals experienced in abatement proceedures. We all remember the $millions spent on asbestos remediation in the Brookfield schools - perhaps a $250,000 cost is a small price to pay compared to health risks, liability, and possible violations with federal and state regulatory agencies? With regard to disposal of the debris after demolition, the EPA has left that decision to the individual states, although the EPA noted its concerns about the potential for groundwater contamination in landfill sites. It might be a good idea if someone contacted the CT DEP on that issue.
Bob McGarrah March 05, 2011 at 11:58 AM
Lawrence- Glad to hear the issue came to your attention "a few weeks ago" that pretty much says it all. Thanks. Thank you also for confirming that CCA's were used on the Kids Kingdom materials. CT DEP reportedly was the source for the 'do not burn" advice. What land fill site in Brookfield might contaminate our water supply? Are contractors holding contaminated materials on land in Brookfield? Will our full time zoning enforcement officer be supported by the Board of Selectmen in getting these sites cleaned up? Thanks for your service to the community. Bob Mc Garrah
Bill Tinsley March 05, 2011 at 12:55 PM
United States EPA : "CCA-treated wood can be disposed of with regular municipal trash (i.e. municipal solid waste, not yard waste) in many areas." CT EPA: "...try to reuse treated wood that has been taken out of service (landscape/trail borders is a recommended use)....dispose of treated wood following these recommendations....a permitted bulky waste landfill" (Note: there are 29 permitted bulky waste landfills in CT...where construction debris is taken.) Having spoken with representatives in both US and CT offices, only regs are 1) prohibition against burning, and 2) segregation from yard waste (as yard waste is frequently burned or chipped). Having spoken with a knowledgeable and likely volunteer contractor...we can demolish, remove, and dispose of the current playground equipment for very little cost...(cost of container and disposal)...certainly a whole lot less than the $20,000 estimate that is in the proposed $500,000 project.
Howard Lasser March 05, 2011 at 01:04 PM
Bill, I am glad you are bringing this information, and your expertise in this area, forward now. It is a sham you did not share this with the park and rec commission volunteers when they were working on the plans. Nothing you have brought forward though suggests we cannot use this information and the volunteers that have now come forward after we approve the referendum on Tuesday. It is a win-win, we can get started right away and still save all the money you say we can. Voting no does not move us forward.
Lawrence A. Miller March 06, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Bob - On Feb. 13th I received an email from Bill Tinsley regarding the petition for referendum and I responded to Bill with a series of questions and comments - one of which was the question of human exposure and the disposal of treated wood. On March 1st, you raised the question of hazardous materials (see above) and I provided you with a response. On March 1st I received another email from Greg Woods requesting more detailed information, so I did some checking with the EPA and provided that information to Greg. I shared that information with you on March 3rd (see above). Does that pretty much say it all?

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