For individuals who remember taking their children to Burns Park’s Rocket slide, jolted by the recent news that it was destroyed by an arson fire, take heart.
Help is on the way.
"We are looking at early summer," said Nathan Hamilton, North Little Rock’s Director of Communications for City Services, when asked when its replacement should be usable by the public.
Hamilton said the replacement slide has been ordered.
"It will be in in about two months and take a month to put up," Hamilton said.
On March 24, the North Little Rock City Council adopted an ordinance to waive formal bidding requirements to purchase the replacement parts necessary to repair the damaged section of the rocket slide at Burns Park.
"The rocket slide, which has been a part of Burns Park for over 45 years, was vandalized and burned in January of this year," reads Ordinance 2014-28. "The current rocket slide was purchased in 2006 from Miracle Recreation Equipment Company, the sole source provider for this particular piece of playground equipment."
The price tag for the project will be $111,482.69, with $109,572.69 to replace the damaged equipment and $1,900 to dispose of the damaged playground equipment, according to the ordinance.
The city has fined an insurance claim with North Little
Rock receiving $61,577.28 from its carrier. In addition, local fundraising efforts have added another $6,412 in pledges, leaving $43,493.41 needed to replace the damaged section of the rocket slide equipment.
According to Bob Rhodes, director of North Little Rock’s Parks and Recreation Department, the main structure of the rocket slide needs replaced which represents about 75 percent of the play area.
"To be able to tie in with the structure that was salvageable, we need to purchase the replacement section from Miracle Playground Inc. where the equipment was originally purchased in 2006," Rhodes said in a letter to Mayor Joe Smith and the members of the city council.
Miracle Playground is located in Monett, Mo.