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California Progress, Inc.'s board met outside of its usual monthly meeting time Monday to approve the next building block of bringing its Latham Memorial Family Park project to completion.

The park project playground committee presented a proposal for the playground slated to serve as one of the park's main features, which the board approved. CPI representatives will present the plan to the City of California Board of Aldermen at its April 5 meeting; at that time, CPI Executive Director Resa Dudley said CPI will be sharing images of the selected playground equipment.

Per the proposal, the equipment will be placed on artificial turf grass approved for safety by playground experts. CPI aims to include a variety of equipment for children of all ages and abilities, though the playground won't be large.

The board also discussed progress for other elements of the park project Monday; for the park's gazebo, the board approved purchasing short-term flowers and plants. A landscaping committee continues to plan for long-term plantings.

Meanwhile, concrete work on the park's veterans memorial is set to begin as soon as weather allows.

The board was also presented with a financial report for the project as of March 29.

The total estimated cost for all elements of the park is $461,000. Breaking down the total cost by each element, the most expensive piece is the veterans memorial at $170,000, followed by the playground at $136,000. The property, first purchased by CPI in 2019, cost $95,000, and the gazebo comes in at $60,000. With landscaping and other work on the site not yet complete, CPI's financial report does not provide an estimated figure for the cost on that front.

CPI still has to raise funds for roughly a quarter of the total estimated cost, or $127,775. The financial report notes that the $353,225 CPI has raised for the project so far has been without a formal fundraiser.

CPI's park committee is set to meet again at 6 p.m. May 4.

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