BEND, Ore. - Children at play may have to be a bit more creative at one northeast Bend park this summer, as a legal dispute delays completion of playground improvements, meaning it remains closed and fenced off.
The playground at the Pine Nursery Park in northeast Bend has been closed for several months becuase of an ongoing legal dispute involving two contractors and the Bend Park and Recreation District.
JP Prinz Co. was hired by Bend Parks and Recreation to install new ground surfacing for the playground area, making it safer for children to play.
The company filed a lawsuit in 2016 claiming to have provided labor and materials, but did not receive any payment for their services from a subcontractor who joined the project.
The $50,000 lawsuit was put on hold during attempts to reach a settlement, then revived earlier this year, according to court documents.
It lists Bend Park and Rec and Alpha Turf NW as plaintiffs and JP Prinz Co. LLC and Hudson Insurance Co. as defendants.
According to the lawsuit, JP Prinz was chosen in 2014 as the prime contractor for a Pine Nursery Park project and entered into a contract with Alpha Turf in early 2015. A dispute arose that summer, and JP Prinz failed to pay Alpha Turf $28,000 owed, causing an estimated $50,000 in damages.
At this point, the case is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 8, if a settlement is not reached before then.
"We appreciate everyone's patience as we have been working through this issue," park district Community Relations Manager Julie Brown said Friday. "We are as excited to get that playground up and fixed, and reopened to the public. Right now, the patience is necessary so that we can make sure the playground is a safe place for kids."
Brown said Bend Parks and Rec is working with a bonding company to try to resolve the issues with the contractors.
It's unclear when the playground will reopen, Brown said, but it could be another several months before everything is resolved.