Peosta Park

The park near the fire station in Peosta will be receiving new equipment.

Peosta’s only public park is going to get a major update this fall.

City Council members recently agreed to purchase new playground equipment for Fire Station Park. Along with installation costs and the addition of loose fill rubber chips, the total price tag is $57,829.

The park, located behind the Centralia-Peosta Fire Station at 8579 Tennis Lane, will receive a new swing set, slide, climbing ladders and more as part of the upgrade.

City Administrator Whitney Baethke said installation likely will take place in September. She said the current park will remain open until that time.

The decision to make the upgrade came after city staff became aware of significant wear to the present equipment.

“The current set has been in there for over 20 years,” Baethke said. “This spring, once the weather turned nice, the staff identified that the equipment was just degrading. It’s clear that time and weather have taken a toll, and we were happy to upgrade.”

While the updates will be beneficial to current Peosta residents, Baethke said investment in parks is part of a wider strategy for the city’s future.

“The City Council is more recently focused on improving quality-of-life amenities, including parks and recreation offerings,” she said. “Maintaining what we have is part of that, and hopefully planning for some new park sites.”

The Peosta Days Committee, the community group that plans and organizes the annual Peosta Days celebration, also has pledged to financially support the park upgrade.

The amount that the group will be donating has yet to be determined, though the committee, which has donated some of the current playground equipment, has played an active role in deciding what the park updates would look like.

Dean Gasper, a Peosta Days Committee member, said that every couple of years, the group tries “to give some money back to the city for improvements like this.

“The park over by the fire station isn’t very big, but it sure does get used a lot,” he said.

Gasper called the project “a worthwhile investment” given the city’s continued expansion.

“With the way Peosta is growing with these (young families and) younger kids, a lot more people are starting to use it than in the past,” he said.

Both Baethke and Gasper said they are optimistic about the upgrade and look forward to the project’s completion.

“I think this will provide a good community space for families to spend time together and for the community to have a space to come together,” Baethke said. “We are certainly happy to be promoting health and wellness for kids as well.”

Gasper added: “I think it will get plenty of use. I think a lot of people will be happy to see it.”