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Brighton City Council Gets Pleas to Reopen Imagination Station

Council okays city manager to put out requests for proposals to clean playscape.

After amending the agenda to include discussion on Imagination Station Thursday, The Brighton City Council heard from many local business owners and residents, pleading with them to reopen the playscape this fall and not wait until next year.

Keith Karp, owner of , said his business has suffered and many children's field trips to his store have been cancelled.

"Obviously, I have a very kid-oriented business, but I've talked to a lot of the other businesses and they echo the same things I'm seeing with foot traffic," Karp said. "Tuesday I had four ticket sales. Last year, when you look at this time frame, I had 147. There's a huge difference in my foot traffic and I need that to survive. I put my business here because I did a lot of research. Imagination Station was integral to my business being successful here in downtown Brighton."

Imagination Station was closed last month after traces of arsenic were found in the wooden structure and soil.

Karp said he thinks the city is making a grave mistake if they wait until spring to do something about the playscape.

After hearing more similar comments, council members gave Brighton City Manager Dana Foster the okay to request contract proposals for the arsenic clean-up and return to the Oct. 6 meeting with recommendations.

Foster was also asked to contact the Department of Environmental Quality to determine whether or not volunteers will be allowed to help with clean up.

"Our public is dead-on correct," Chad Cooper, City Council member said. "We need to get this open. It is a problem, it is an image perception.This is a healthy city, our growth is better than many other communities over the last 10 years. And this (Imagination Station) is a key jewel and center-stone to our community."

Bill Snyder September 16, 2011 at 02:06 PM
I used to take my son to the Imagination Station, almost daily (weather permitting). We'd go play for a little bit, then head over to Dairy Queen or the Yum-Yum Tree for some ice cream or dinner. Without the playscape being open, my son and I now venture to other areas looking for things to do...
JMar September 16, 2011 at 02:53 PM
I find this incredible. they need to keep it close to avoid making the city's children sick. sorry its hurting your business, but our childrens health is far more important than your pocketbook.
Dawn Babcock Papple September 16, 2011 at 03:34 PM
JMar... do you REALLY think it's making kids sick? Are they eating the soil beneath the wood chips? I am quite certain that eating Lunchables Meals, McDonald's chicken nuggets or the schools' lunches once a week poses a much higher safety concern than laying at the Imagination Station regarding toxins reaching our children. I think they jumped the gun quite a bit in closing it. Things need to be put into perspective.
Dan Piedra September 16, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Shutting down the playground was necessary to avoid legal liability; nevertheless, the playground is safe for use, as the arsenic levels were tested as non-threatening by environmental standards. The economic damages to the City's small businesses dependent upon the playground's foot traffic -- namely, the candy and custard stores -- should be far more of a concern to the City than conforming to rigid, legalistic environmentalism. However, I do believe the City will make a decision that is in the best interest of the community -- both businesses and families alike.
Debbie September 16, 2011 at 11:39 PM
The city needs to find a way to fix this now and make it safe for our kids and keep small businesses thriving in Brighton! It's well worth the investment, with out a doubt! I completely agree that it also portrays poorly on our city to keep it closed!
Nate October 26, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Arsenic is in many things we eat on a daily basis you may not even know about...Peach Pits....Pear Seeds are just a couple of things that exist in nature that have a natural amount of Arsenic.Now those levels are very very low but if the test results, who were done by trained professionals, say that the levels are safe, then they are safe. Don't punish the small business owners who took a great risk opening up in an economy that has mostly been downhill....

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