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Police: Don’t take posts with names from Kids Kastle

Posted 6/20/18

Middletown police have posted signs warning people not to try and remove fence posts from the closed Kids Kastle playground in Hoffer Park.

Kids Kastle opened in 1993 after the playground was …

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Police: Don’t take posts with names from Kids Kastle

Posted

Middletown police have posted signs warning people not to try and remove fence posts from the closed Kids Kastle playground in Hoffer Park.

Kids Kastle opened in 1993 after the playground was built through a fund-raising effort driven by Middletown residents. Donations from the residents are remembered with their names on the fence posts at Kids Kastle.

Kids Kastle is borough property, and anyone caught “damaging or removing parts or pieces of this property without prior authorization shall be prosecuted to the fullest,” reads the signs that have been attached to Kids Kastle by police.

Anyone tampering or trying to enter Kids Kastle could also be cited for trespassing, borough police spokesman Officer Keegan Wenner told the Press & Journal on June 15.

Police have also wrapped yellow crime tape around the playground as an additional deterrence.

At about 2:45 p.m. June 7, police responded to a report from a borough highway employee about people trying to remove fence posts from the playground.

After borough council on June 4 decided to close the park for safety reasons, some of these residents wanted their fence posts back, according to police.

Police and Mayor James H. Curry III both talked to people at the scene. All the fence posts that were removed have been returned and resecured to the playground, Wenner said.

Council acted to close Kids Kastle after receiving a report from consultants detailing a number of safety issues in the playground that represent a potential hazard to children.

In addition, Kids Kastle no longer meets current rules and regulations governing handicapped accessibility, as these specifications have changed since the playground opened 25 years ago, borough Public Works Director Greg Wilsbach has said.

Council and the borough have not said how long Kids Kastle will stay closed. Curry in a video posted on the borough website said that the borough hopes to reopen Kids Kastle, “but probably not in terms of what you see now.”

Council President Damon Suglia told the Press & Journal council will be looking for grants and other outside revenue sources to build a new Kids Kastle that is bigger and better than the one there now.

Wilsbach has said he hopes closing the playground will prompt emergence of a new grass-roots fundraising effort led by residents, similar to the one that built the Kids Kastle in 1993.

It is not clear what will be done with the posts in the long-term if the Kids Kastle does not reopen in some form.