REDINGTON BEACH — Town Park in Redington Beach, on the corner of Gulf Boulevard and 164th Avenue, could soon be getting a major facelift that includes modern state-of-the-art playground equipment.

During their Oct. 20 meeting, town commissioners voted to issue a request for proposals seeking contractors to totally remodel the popular park, as part of the city’s Town Park Refurbishment Project.

According to the town’s Parks Committee, playground equipment at Town Park has outlived its usefulness and should be updated with more modern items and a new artificial turf play area surface.

Under terms of the proposal, the contractor will have to detail how it plans complete the project in phases and supply the city with a unit price for each piece of playground equipment. The contractor will also have to agree to use vehicles that are clearly marked, demolish or recycle all existing playground equipment, and provide “at least one English-speaking supervisory individual … on site during the project at all times.”

The RFP requires that the new playground equipment must be designed and installed to withstand 135 mph winds and exposure to salt water. In addition to instillation of playground equipment for older youngsters, the RFP requires a separate bid proposal for equipment designed for use by toddlers through 12-year-olds. The city also wants to provide a large climbing apparatus geared towards children 5 to 12 years of age, as well as standalone “mommy and me” swings that allow toddlers adults to swing face to face and make eye contact.

The city requires the contractor to install at least 1.5 inches of artificial turf in the playground area. In addition, the contractor will have to prepare the site so water flows to the edges of the park and there is no standing water in the playground area, especially by the swings.

The Town Commission set a not-to-exceed budget of $121,000 to renovate Town Park.

Commissioner Richard Cariello, who oversees parks and public works, said there was a special meeting of the park board where a few different points were hashed out. “I feel we should move ahead” and put the project out to bid, he said.

Commissioner Shawntay Skjoldager brought up issues with the equipment aligning with the Americans with Disabilities Act. She said her research revealed ADA requirements detail the amount of playground equipment that should be located on the ground versus those elevated.

Cariello said under ADA the playground “… has to be accessible to all. So not every single piece of equipment is or in some cases can be disabled-compliant, but overall the playground equipment installed there has to provide … access of equal opportunity for everybody to use the playground.”

He added the vendors know what is required and what the acceptable ratios are.

Commissioners set a due date of Friday Nov. 19 for proposals to arrive at City Hall.

In addition to Town Park, the ten block long mid-Pinellas barrier island city, with a population of 1,463, has three other local parks: Friendship Park at 164th Avenue across from City Hall, Moon Park at 157th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard and Causeway Park at 161st Avenue and the Causeway, as well as five triangle parks and six beach accesses.

Town working on street light issues

Cariello told fellow commissioners the city is working out issues with Duke Energy over its proposal to install new street lights along Gulf Boulevard that some feel may be too bright.

He said Duke is “talking about using LEDs and we are trying to work out something that is more favorable, as far as the type of mood to keep the town.”

Duke has been installing environmentally sensitive street and roadway lighting in other barrier island communities along Gulf Boulevard that are specially designed not disorient turtle hatchings. The idea is to keep the street lights from shining on the beach, so hatchings are not distracted and directed toward Gulf Boulevard.