The county-owned tot playground on the former Memorial Hospital Ceres campus has been rehabilitated.
A year ago the city of Ceres handed the tot play lot - located on what is now the grounds of the Stanislaus Behavioral Health Center - back to the county. The city had kept the tot playground closed for about two years because the equipment didn't meet state safety standards. In early 2014 the council decided against spending $9,050 to make the park safe as far as the state is concerned.
Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini was determined to have the county upgrade the tot lot and reopen it. The rehabilitation, which included handicapped accessible all-new equipment, took place last November.
"It's open every day, including Sundays and closed off at night," said DeMartini. "It's the only park in that neighborhood. It looks really quite nice."
He said the lot, which is less than a third-acre in size, is important for an area of Ceres where there are no close-by recreational uses.
DeMartini said he didn't consider the sand in the lot to be unsafe but said the state wanted a rubberized bark to help cushion children in falls.
Through the Ceres Redevelopment Agency, the city spent $47,000 to obtain the former equipment back in 2001. The Ceres Redevelopment Agency had agreed to take control of the county-owned facility in 2001 and agreed to be responsible for the maintenance of equipment for the duration of the agreement, which was until 2016. The city, however, reneged on the deal in early 2014.