Parent says Columbia Co. took too long to respond to playground problem

A Columbia County parent has some concerns about the type of material that was dumped on a playground she frequents with her child.

Caitlin Whitehead said she was surprised when the county dumped tire mulch on the playground, behind the library, that had wires stemming from them.

"My friend and I were here and she stepped on a piece and it went through her shoe," Whitehead said.

And her worse fear is that something could have happened to her child or someone else's.

"It's completely feasible to think that kids are going to be playing barefoot at this park because there's a splash pad right next to it," Whitehead said. "If a child steps on a piece of wire, it just wouldn't be good."

The tire mulch was beginning to be picked up Tuesday afternoon but Whitehead noticed it about 4 weeks ago. She called Columbia County Community & Leisure services but she said she didn't get a positive response.

"We were told that that was staying," explained Whitehead.  "They said they didn't have money to put the sealing down to fix it and they didn't have any money to do anything else about it."

Barry Smith, the Director for Columbia County Community & Leisure Services, says it was the parents who informed them of the problem.

"We immediately took action, removed all the rubber mulch out of the playground and putting all wood mulch back in," Smith said.

Smith says the city will get a reimbursement for the mulch they bought. It was not supposed to have wires in them.

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