CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-Team is investigating safety hazards at a Cleveland park, and when we started digging at City Hall, we found out why parents are so fed up waiting for something to be done about the problems.
Parents turned to the I-Team about conditions at Impett Park in the West Park section. And the I-Team is getting action.
Playground equipment has metal exposed. Kids also walk over jagged edges from hard plastic broken off or ripped away. Some equipment is held together by zip ties.
The gazebo has a gaping hole in the roof.
There are hand rings missing from bars used for climbing.
Just feet away stands a new concession building constructed by the city, and yet we found hazards where children play.
Katie Bryant, mother of five, says she’s raised concerns to local leaders. Bryant said, "My biggest concern is the rust, the safety, especially for the younger kids. The pre-school playground equipment, you don't want your kids getting cut."
Impett Park used by schoolkids, community sports teams, and neighborhood families. We found even the grass much higher than it should be. And just feet away from the hazardous play equipment
Sits a new building for bathrooms and selling snacks. Another parent, Dawn Lastafka said, "Obviously, I don't want my child to fall and get hurt. This is a nice neighborhood, so we should have a better park."
You don't have to spend much time looking around to spot the hazards. So the I-Team wondered, 'why isn't the city fixing this right away?'
At City Hall, the mayor’s office said the man in charge of city parks is on vacation. So we looked for Martin Keane, Cleveland City Councilman in the ward.
Keane says he’s gone to the city administration many times about the park. But he couldn’t tell us when the playground problems will get fixed. The councilman said, "There's not a quick fix to it. Can't just put a bit of epoxy on it. Quick answer is, I don't know. I'm not a playground guy."
Thursday evening, hours after we started asking questions, the mayor’s office emailed a statement saying repairs would be made starting Friday with more later in the month. The city also said its crews did not fasten any equipment with zip ties, and those zip ties will be replaced with bolts. The city adds, some of the playground work getting done had already been planned.
The statement also says: In 2016, City of Cleveland conducted an assessment of all city parks. The City of Cleveland has since allocated $5 million a year to parks improvements identified in the assessment in neighborhoods throughout the city.
Katie Bryant added, "I hope they're keeping track of how many parents are concerned."