PERU — The Board of Selectmen made the “difficult” decision Monday night to close the playground behind the Town Office because of safety concerns, Chairwoman Carol Roach said.

She said the board checked the state’s standards for playground safety and equipment and found the playground had several violations. The town’s insurance agent also advised that the playground be closed, because the town’s liability could be substantial.

“The biggest thing is the cement footings stabilizing the swing set — they are above ground and deteriorating,” Roach said.

There is a silver lining, however, she said. The board had the foresight in February, while preparing warrants, to budget an extra $3,000 to fix the chain-link fence surrounding the playground, refurbish the equipment and purchase new ground surfacing, she said.

No time has been set for repairs. Town Clerk Vera Parent said residents should expect the playground to be closed “until further notice.”

In other business, the Town Office and the former Peru Elementary School will receive inspections by a state fire investigator 9 a.m. Friday because of recent pictures and complaints brought to the board by a resident.

“The same issues that exist at the school exist at the Town Office,” Roach said. They include inaccessible emergency exits and improperly hung or missing fire extinguishers. Because of the safety concerns, the school building may be shut down, she said.

“We’re hoping that the fire marshal will just give us a checklist so we can fix the issues,” Roach said.

The building is used by Friends of Peru Elementary School, a group whose mission is to preserve the historic building and transform it into a community center.

Yvonne Allen, who works in the Friends of Peru Elementary School gift shop and sits on the board of directors, said at Monday night’s meeting that she is disappointed the person who filed the complaint did not bring it to their attention first so they could fix the problems.

But Roach said some good came out of the complaints: all employees of the Town Office and the Friends of Peru Elementary School will receive training in fire extinguisher use.

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The playground behind the Peru Town Office is closed for repairs until further notice, officials said this week.


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