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Hamburg's wooden playground coming down

Crews are dismantling Hamburg's iconic wooden playground this week, bringing an end to 25 years of fun on the structure designed with input from children and constructed in a community build.

But a new $450,000 playground will be built in another community build next spring at the same site next to the Hamburg Community Center on Prospect Avenue.

The old playground had come to the end of its natural life, despite the regular maintenance provided by the Village of Hamburg.  It was one of the few remaining wooden playgrounds in the region. High levels of arsenic found in the wood doomed many of them more than a decade years ago. Hamburg’s playground, which has been maintained regularly, was tested several times and never had high arsenic levels, village officials said.

A total of $440,000 has been raised for the new playground, which includes a $220,000 state grant secured by State Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo. One more fundraiser is planned next month.

"We're still on schedule to build in late April or early May," Village Recreation Director Josh Haeick said.

There is preparation work that will be done in the days leading up to the community build, which Haeick expects to take place over four days. Then the safety surface will be laid down and allowed to cure before the playground is open to the public. Residents will be asked to sign up to take part in the build starting in February.

And while families will be enjoying the new playground next spring, they also might be munching a meal from a food truck, after the Village Board approved a law regulating "mobile food vending" Monday night.

The village had received requests from several vendors, Village Administrator Donald Witkowski said.

"Our current regulations didn't allow them to set up," he said.

Now they will be allowed to locate no closer than 100 feet from the primary entrance to a restaurant that is open to the public. And the vendors may not stay at the same location in a public right-of-way for more than three hours in certain areas of the village, including the central business, commercial, professional, light industrial and industrial districts.

Fees will be $150 a year for a company's first vehicle and $50 for each additional vehicle.

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