Department of Public Works Director David Hickey said his department, weather permitting, will repair the damaged surface at the Pond Street Playground on Friday.
“If things dry up, we can start on Friday,” said Hickey. “It’s a half-day job. Those holes, which are about two-feet deep, are from tire tracks. ”
The surface was damaged Monday when DPW workers attempted to remove a tree stump from the playground while using a front-end loader in the process.
Alan Peabody, chairman of the Winthrop Beautification who lives near the playground, complained vehemently about the hazardous condition of the park during the public comment period at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.
“There’s no words to describe what I saw happen at the Pond Street Playground [Monday],” said Peabody. “The park is destroyed. Why was this decision made to take the tree down on Monday? This tree came down Dec. 9. There was probably a 20-foot stump left there. What was the rush?”
Peabody claimed that he saw DPW workers come into the playground with a 10-12-ton front end loader.
“Not once, but twice – they destroyed he park,” he said. “What were they thinking? Who is responsible for this blatant disregard of a public park?”
Hickey said there was “no structural damage” to the playground and the playground equipment and the park’s infrastructure were not damaged.
“The playground can be repaired with loom, grass seed and manual labor and we look at it as probably a half day’s worth of work.”
Hickey said he learned about Peabody’s scathing comments following the Council meeting.
“Alan is a good man and does a ton of stuff for the community in his role with the Beautification Committee and he lives right next door,” said Hickey. “He feels very passionate about the park. And I can understand his reaction. He cleans the park a lot and he’s very involved and you get that kind of reaction sometimes. I don’t blame him for his reaction.”
Town Council President Jeffrey Turco is pleased that the conditions at the park will be remedied quickly.
“Mr. Hickey and his department are committed to fixing it,” said Turco. “We’re going to make Mr. Peabody and the residents of that area happy with the end product.”