GRAHAM COUNTY — After the county spent a year of crunching numbers and perfecting designs, snake gates have been installed on the Graham County Fairgrounds play area.

After snakes were spotted in the Graham County Fairgrounds park last year, the community voiced the opinion that many individuals would like the black tire shreds to be removed from the park for safety reasons. A petition, as well as a gofundme campaign was created regarding the snakes to emphasize the public’s sincerity.

However, County Manager Dustin Welker told the Courier in 2018 that the county priced replacement rubber mats and found that the cost would be roughly $120,000. Instead, gates were the choice selected by the Graham County Board of Supervisors.

In May, fairgrounds maintenance crews installed the gates but found it difficult to make them swing open and shut properly because the sidewalk slanted toward the play area. However, after a few weeks of work, the gates now swing shut by themselves after opened. The mesh in the gates, combined with the tiny drains surrounding the play area, are expected to keep snakes from the playground

“They cost around $3,500. We have not received any reports of any more snake sightings at the playground area. We are in snake season though, and snakes are out throughout the county,” Welker said. “The fairgrounds is a great place for families, and we try to make it a better and safer place each year.”

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