The playground equipment at the American Memorial Park is “in sore need of repair” and dangerous for children in the community to use, according to Rotary Club of Saipan's Laurie Peterka.
Peterka made this determination on the status and physical condition of the playground equipment donated by the Rotary Club of Saipan as she addressed their meeting yesterday.
“It has been mostly put off limits and the park is keeping an eye on who's using it,” she said.
According to Peterka, the American Memorial Park had done minor maintenance on the playground equipment but more work needs to be done to make it usable for the next three years.
Peterka said there are several pieces of metal in the playground equipment that need to be refabricated and corrected to get rid of the dangerous edges.
She and Rotarian Dennis Yoshimoto talked to Joeten Motors to ask if it could create plastic rubber coating that would coat the refabricated and corrected metal pieces to “make them last a little bit longer.”
“They have agreed to do this at cost,” said Peterka, adding that the estimated cost to refabricate the 12 metal pieces is about $800.
Both Peterka and Yoshimoto volunteered to do the ocular inspections as part of the extensive research and meetings they conducted starting June to identify whether or not the Rotary Club of Saipan has any duty, obligation or responsibility for the playground they donated almost 20 years ago.
“There's no legally binding document that obligates the Rotary Club of Saipan in any way,” she said.
Peterka also noted that there is no memorandum between the Rotary Club of Saipan, the American Memorial Park, and the National Park Service.
While there is a “volunteer services agreement” that identifies that the club made a donation to the park, all maintenance responsibility falls back to the park, she explained.
Peterka also said that the presence of a Rotary Club of Saipan and the 4-way Rotary Test signboard only holds the club responsible to maintain the signboard and not the equipment.
She pointed out, however, that their group has a “moral obligation,” not a responsibility, and called on Rotary officials to discuss the matter.
Peterka disclosed that the Rotary Club of Saipan already purchased new swing seats waiting to be installed “as soon as we can make cooperation with all of the partners that are interested in making this project possible.”
“The holdup of this point is whether or not the Rotary Club has the responsibility and we wanted to define the relationship between the park and the club and I think this research has provided that. It hink the next steps could be determined whether we'll continue to support having playground equipment in the park,” added Peterka.