HAWLEY - Plans are forging ahead for the new handicapped-accessible playground in Bingham Park. Last Saturday, March 22,  the Challenger League kids held a fundraiser/bake sale at the Lake Region IGA to raised money for the project. They took in nearly $1,000 in four hours time.
      They were selling tickets to an upcoming Scranton Railriders game along with baked goods. They were there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and were able to raise $905. Allan Cooper is the coach for the Challenger League, which plays in Bingham Park.
    Joseph Regenski, with his wife Randi, further discussed the plans for the playground March 25th at the Hawley Parks & Recreation Commission. They hope to break ground by late June or sooner, depending on many factors.
     He reported that he has an engineer, Thomas J. McLane & Associates, Scranton, and expects to have a surveyor on site the week of March 31st. The playground, designed for children age 5 to 12, will be put adjacent to the existing toddler playground. Excess funding from the grants and donations are to be put towards further upgrades of the playground area. In conjunction with the Borough, they are hoping to fund handicapped-accessible restrooms nearby.
   There is no timeline but Regenski hopes to begin raising funds for the restrooms as soon as possible. He said most likely they would not be built until the spring of 2015. CJR Memorial Foundation may re-apply for a second phase of the project for the additional funding for the restrooms. Depending on the bids, they may cost $30,000 to $50,000. The proposal is to have two rest rooms, a changing area and concession stand under one roof.
     Wayne County Builders Association anticipates installing the project, Regenski indicated. This would be in conjunction with the engineer and a representative from the manufacturer. He said the Association expects that erecting the equipment will take no more than two weeks, but with preparing the ground and associated components, the project may take about a month.
    There was discussion about plans to sponsor memorial stones for a paved walkway in the playground area, which will help fund the project. Commission member Elain Herzog, who is also on Borough Council, said they should first check with the Borough Solicitor to see if business sponsor names could be incorporated on walkway stones. She said there could be a question about the ordinance prohibiting off-premise signs as well as deed restrictions in Bingham Park.
   Regenski said he hopes to be able to soon promote the memorial paving stones on their web site.
    Joseph Regenski started the CJR Memorial Foundation in memory of his 2-year old son Caleb, and launched the playground project.
    For more information on the playground online, visit www.cjrmemorialfund.org.
   Little League - Challenger Division gives mentally and physically challenged boys and girls the opportunity to enjoy the full benefits of participation in a Little League program structured to their abilities. Established in 1989, the program is open to boys and girls, ages 5-18.
Information on the Challenger League may be found at www.wallenpaupack.org/challenger.asp.
••• Sports team fees
   In other Hawley Parks & Recreation Commission matters, chairperson Janet DeLuca advised raising the fees for sports teams using the parks in town. This is meant to better cover the expense of maintaining the parks.
    Currently fee charged for football and Little League teams is figured based on $1.50 per child. Men's and women's softball teams are charged a $100 flat fee.
   As estimated 32 baseball teams and 16 softball teams are using the parks; no number was available for football.
   After discussion, the Commission proposed changing the fees for football teams and cheerleaders  and Babe Ruth Little League to a $500 flat fee rather than per player. They proposed to keep the current fee for softball this year since sign-ups may be done by now. Instead, they proposed to raise the softball team flat fee to $150 starting in 2015.
   The proposed fee changes must first be approved by Borough Council.