City Controller: Philly’s parks are wrecks

Philadelphia parks Broken Benches
Broken benches at a city park. Credit: City Controller’s Office

You may want to think twice before sending your kids to play at city recreational centers and playgrounds this summer.

At least that’s what a new report from City Controller Alan Butkovitz seems to suggest.

His review of Department of Parks and Recreation facilities — a follow-up to a report he released last year — found “dangerous and hazardous conditions” persist at rec centers and playgrounds.

They include exposed wires, electrical outlets near sinks and clogged outdoor storm drains that cause flooding and heighten the risk for mosquito infestations.

“With the warm weather upon us, our recreation facilities will be full of kids playing and using the facilities for sports activities,” Butkovitz said in a statement.

“All Philadelphia’s children deserve clean and safe recreation centers. However, that is still not what we found.”

He said half of the 28 sites his staff reviewed contained fire hazards, including fire exits locked with chains and blocked with large objects, and expired or empty fire extinguishers.

“These hazards and conditions can cause serious injury and harm to our children,” he said. “Management and staff must take all safety measures, especially ensuring that exits are easily accessible in the event of an emergency.”

Butkovitz said his office also observed water damage at half of the sites they inspected. That includes facilities with leaking roofs and visible watermarks on the ceiling, as well as a toilet that overflows into the kitchen area of Roxborough’s Kendrick Recreation Center.

“Repairs need to be made at the first sign of water damage because it can quickly become a major problem,” he said. “The longer the condition goes untouched the more expensive it will be to repair in the future.”

Finally, according to Butkovitz, the Cruz Recreation Center building in North Philadelphia has a large hole in it, creating issues with heating and cooling and allowing building debris to fall on the sidewalk.

“Parks and Recreation needs to develop a plan to inspect every recreation center and playground to identify and correct maintenance and safety issues,” Butkovitz said.

“These inspections should start immediately and continue on an annual basis. While the department addressed many of the findings in our previous review, it must continue to place a high priority and greater emphasis on many of the findings that persist.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."

Comments

1

  1. I wish they would get the mentally ill people out of the parks, too. They live in the parks! wtf?!