TRAVERSE CITY — New test results suggest the wood chips at Grand Traverse County's Kid's Kove playground — and not the playground's soil — contain elevated levels of arsenic, county officials said.

The results come from Department of Environmental Quality testing done Oct. 5, after county officials closed the play structure in late September. Earlier tests showed arsenic levels in the ground beneath the playscape contained arsenic levels above the DEQ limit for residential areas.

DEQ officials used deeper soil samples for the second round of tests. The deeper soil contained arsenic levels below the 7.9 parts per million residental levels, county Parks Director Kristine Erickson said.

Erickson said Kid's Kove, which is nearly two decades old, will remain closed while officials research the cost of replacing the playground's wood chips and await certified playground inspector's report on the structure's integrity.

County Parks and Recreation commissioners will discuss Kid's Kove during a special meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Governmental Center.

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