A Hamden homeowner concerned about the condition of the children’s playground at the East Gate Condominiums playground contacted NBC Responds for help in making it safer.
“A split second and something could happen,” said Michael Garbatini, who believes the playground is in such disrepair that it’s putting kids at risk.
Garbatini showed us exposed wires, splintered wood, and a very shaky swing set, not securely anchored. He also pointed out the cracked playground equipment and other safety hazards.
Garbatini has lived in the community for ten years, raising his family and raising his concerns about the playground problems with management.
“It’s a little concerning. Someone could get really hurt,” said Garbatini.
Garbatini told NBC Connecticut Responds there have been minimal repairs over the years, but said it’s not enough to justify the $330 monthly association fees he pays.
“Until the issues are addressed, I’m not going to feel 100 percent safe,” said Garbatini.
Garbatini reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds and we contacted Collect Associates in Shelton, which manages the East Gate condominium complex in Hamden.
Property manager Bob Pagliaro declined to speak with us on camera,but immediately after our phone call, he sent us an email stating that the playground had been closed in order to make the necessary safety repairs over Memorial Day weekend.
Pagliaro said those repairs included replacing the exposed wires with black tape. He also said he hired a contractor to sand the wood and put down cement around the playground’s swing set to keep it leveled.
Garbatini said the prompt changes were long overdue.
“We as parents try to protect them. We’re always here monitoring them. But just some of the issues, I mean you can’t stop everything,” said Garbatini.
Garbatini said the playground has now reopened.
Bob Pagliaro told NBC Connecticut the $330 monthly association fee pays for maintenance, insurance, and repairs. Pagliaro said this year’s budget allocated only $700 for the playground area, which he said they’ve already exceeded.