KIMBALL -- The City Council unanimously voted to upgrade the City Park with the recently purchased playground equipment.

The City of Kimball recently purchased a new playground with the intent on replacing the Gotte Park equipment. After feedback from city employees, Mayor John Morrison decided to bring it back up for discussion in the May 15 City Council Meeting.

After much debate about which park is in greater need of an upgrade, the consensus fell with the City Park. It is more outdated with the old metal-style equipment and is a better location for the specific playground that the city purchased.

City Council Member Creg Pike first pointed out that Gotte Park is higher trafficked, so it would be the more popular choice for an upgrade.

City Council Member Christy Warner counters that the reason Gotte Park is more popular is because it has nicer equipment.

Ann Garner also recommended City Park because Gotte Park has had more recent upgrades than City Park.

However, Community Member Don Longsdale said he would rather see Gotte Park be upgraded because that is where all the other activities are located such as the pool, the fairgrounds and the pickleball courts.

“We need to do repairs to Gotte Park, there’s no question about it,” Morrison said. “But the equipment over at City Park is pretty sad.”

City Administrator Annette Brower says the new equipment is ADA approved and sensory safe, so it is suitable for handicap children or those who are sensory sensitive.

As much as Gotte Park is known as the hub park, she says when thinking about the best location for a playground suitable for sensory needs and handicap, The City Park makes more sense.

Warner says by upgrading the City Park, parents who have children who struggle with sensory overload will have a park to bring their children to. Because it is less frequented, it will have less people, less activities going on, less screaming at the pool, and less noise from the fairgrounds.

The layout of the City Park pairs well with the purpose of this playground as it already has a paved drive-up area by the basketball courts and bathrooms.

Construction will need to include extending a short sidewalk from the west side to the play area as well as extending the sidewalk from the play area to the restrooms, so it all connects.

The playground includes equipment for ages 2-5 and other areas are geared toward 5-12-year-olds; however, it was mentioned that it seems catered more toward younger kids.

City Council Member Gabe Ingram says the City Park could be a safer environment for younger kids to play at because it is in a more controlled environment. It has extensive greenspace surrounding the playground area and it doesn’t have the gravel roadway going around the park like Gotte Park has.

There was a worry about a gas line running underneath Gotte Park that would inhibit an upgrade, but it is not a concern. The gas line was there before the current equipment was installed and it didn’t stop that installation.

Brower says the council could budget in a park upgrade for Gotte Park as early as next year once they are eligible for another grant.