Umatilla city playgrounds will soon receive safety upgrades and repairs.

Earlier this year, City Manager Bob Ward requested a risk management survey of the playgrounds by the city’s insurance company, CIS, and last month, the city received the results of that investigation.

“Our insurance company has inspected the playgrounds, and there are some concerns,” Ward said Tuesday. “None of the issues are critical, but taken collectively, it is a source of concern.”

The survey focused primarily on two city playgrounds, one off Powerline Road and one in McNary, and found a variety of potential issues. The issues range from the absence of impact-resistant materials under play areas to exposure of concrete bases under equipment and the width of the gaps in the handrails on slides.

City staff is working on how to best follow the recommendations, and inspecting equipment for modifications or replacement. Ward said the changes should be completed over the next month. Most of the repairs will be paid for with $7,000 in abatement funds the city is receiving from the insurance company.

“There are a series of small things that do make our risk-management people nervous, especially in a time when school is letting out and the (city) playgrounds will be more active,” Ward said. “It’s not like when we were growing up, and some things just aren’t considered safe anymore. Things change, so we have to change with the times.”

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