WATSONVILLE—The new playground at Muzzio Park will indeed be bigger and better—pricier too.
Roughly four-dozen members of the community surrounding the park at the corner of Rodriguez and West Front streets overwhelmingly decided to completely overhaul the play structure that was burned down in early July.
Staff from Watsonville’s Parks and Community Services (PCS) department presented community members with four options, each grander and more expensive than the last. The community—mostly made up of Spanish speakers and young people—went with the priciest and largest of the four.
The new structure will be a jumbo-sized construction that will mirror the tall trees at the small park in the dense neighborhood near the Pajaro bridge.
The total cost, according to PCS director Nick Calubaquib, will be roughly $140,000, including demolition, site prep, equipment, install and contingency plans.
The department has a little less than half of the cost ($69,000) covered thanks to the $25,000 insurance claim payout, a $40,000 grant from the play structure company GameTime and a $4,000 donation from Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance.
Calubaquib said the remaining balance would be covered by either an appropriation from the Park Development Fund or PCS could divert funds from scheduled maintenance, repair or safety projects at other park sites already laid out in the Capital Improvement Plan. Both options will require City Council approval, according to Calubaquib.
“Either route we choose, we will be diverting funds from other potential maintenance, repair or safety projects at other park sites and/or drawing down from the park development fund that we are trying to build to accomplish our larger ticket future projects,” Calubaquib said.
The Friends of Watsonville Parks and Community Services is also trying to aid the park’s rebuild with a GoFundMe account that has already raised $890.
To donate visit gofundme.com/f/muzzio-park-playground-restoration-campaign.
Installation for the park is set for February.