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Kannapolis council approves purchase of carousel

By Susan Shinn

For the Salisbury Post

KANNAPOLIS — Come next spring, the joyous sounds of a carousel will echo through Village Park.

City Council on Monday evening unanimously approved the purchase of a rare double-decker carousel, now in storage in Independence, Mo. The owner is willing to install the piece in Kannapolis, provided the installation takes place within a year of purchase.

The capital cost of $1.35 million — all part of the park’s Phase 3 improvements — has been in the capital improvement budget for some 10 years, according to Gary Mills, the city’s parks and recreation director.

The carousel itself is priced at $228,000.

However, time is of the essence, because as you might imagine, carousels don’t come onto the market every day. Mills said that in April, two carousels did come on the market, and were sold in less than two weeks.

Because the project will take place over two fiscal years, the city will front the cash now from its fund balance and pay itself back during the fiscal year 2017, according to City Manager Mike Legg.

Councilman Ryan Dayvault inquired about the cost of a new carousel. Mills said that new carousels cost between $800,000 and $1 million, with refurbished models priced at $2 million-$3 million.

We feel confident with the cost,” Mills said. He said that the double-decker carousel would be unique to Kannapolis and indeed, unique to the state of North Carolina. When complete, it is thought to be the only one between New Jersey and Georgia, he said.

Council unanimously approved a parks and recreation risk management policy, as well as a risk management plan and procedures. Both items are required for the department’s national accreditation, Mills said.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

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