The Prince Field Playground re-opened last Saturday and kids can finally enjoy what nearly $800,000 in tax payer dollars can provide. Of course, we’re very happy to see that kids can start enjoying the
brand new 3 year old playground that the city paid for a second time. In addition to re-installing the 3 year old playground, the city installed new rubber flooring and replaced the old swings with new swings. (See full cost breakdown further below.)
Back in 2016 the City of Miami Springs removed the beloved wooden tot lot built by the community. The city paid an estimated $319,000 for the removal of the old wooden playground and for the installation of the plastic playground installed in 2016.
In May of 2019 the City Council agreed to pay Leathers and Associates $329,217.60 to disassemble, store and then re-assemble the playground in a new configuration to make space for the Senior Center expansion. Plus, they agreed to pay an additional $127,400 for rubber flooring.
As we’ve stated before, Miami Springs is a family friendly community and its important to have the tot lot available for the community. We’re glad to see the spending is finally over and that the kids can begin enjoying the playground that had been closed since last Spring.
For those of you who are fiscally minded, you may not be happy that we paid for the tot lot twice in less than four years…nearly $800,000.00. Here’s a recap of the costs:
- 2016 demolition of the wooden tot lot / installation of plastic tot lot: $319,000.00
- 2019 removal, storage, re-assembly + new swings: $329,217.60
- 2020 addition of rubber flooring: $127,400.00
TOTAL TOT LOT COST: $775,617.60
Some of you may ask, “Why do we keep bringing up how much it cost to build the tot lot?”
The primary reason is that this is your money and you have a right to know how your tax dollars are spent. $800,000 can buy a pair of 3 bed, 2 bath homes in Miami Springs. it’s your job to determine if the tot lot with no plumbing, electrical, kitchen etc. was worth the price of a pair of single family homes.
Furthermore, people forget. So it’s good to remind people of how many times we have paid for this tot lot.
Nobody cares (other than your spouse) if you planned something wrong and had to pay to remove an expensive installation from your own home and then reinstall it again. If it’s your home and your money and you have to pay for it, nobody cares. (Again, except for your spouse.)
However, if the city is wasting our tax payer dollars because of poor planning, then it should be repeated over and over. Both as a reminder to residents, administrators, and politicians, but also a warning to plan properly for future endeavors.
Ultimately, poor planning led to this unnecessary double payment of the tot lot. If the city had done better planning for the senior center, they would have never had to pay for the tot lot twice.
What did we think of the new / 3 year old playground? Well, we liked the new $127,400 rubber flooring. It seems durable and should do well throughout most of the tot lot. However, the flooring is likely to get the most wear right under the swings where the kids feet hit the floor. Time will tell how long that lasts.
We are happy the city retained the wooden slats with the names on them. That meant a lot to the people who built the original wooden tot lot that was adored by the community.
We hope the city will add some more trees around the playground as several mature trees were removed to make space for this tot lot. Just look back at the satellite photo shown below and you can see most of the tree canopy is gone.
OLD SATELLITE VIEW OF PLAYGROUND