Kenwood Park gate decision postponed

A request to install entry and exit gates at Kenwood Park has been tabled so the Fayette County Commission can get cost estimates for the work.

Meanwhile the county’s recreation commission is considering the benefit of perhaps installing a pay station at the park so out-of-county residents will be required to pay a fee for park usage. This option is being considered because of the park’s popularity at peak usage hours which often leaves no empty parking spaces available for county residents, officials said.

Recreation Commission Chairman Charles McCollum told the Fayette County Commission Thursday that he has received several phone calls about people being in the park after closing hours. It was also noted that county marshals will ask people to leave at closing, only to come back two hours later and find others in the park.

The restroom facility has been vandalized once with some fixtures needing to be replaced due to damage, but vandalism is no more a problem at Kenwood Park than compared to the county’s other parks, said County Manager Jack Krakeel.

Beyond that the other problems extend to issues such as park users not following park rules such as the half-hour limit on tennis court use, McCollum said.

North Fayette residents have expressed an interest in starting an association to help maintain and monitor the park much the same way youth sports associations do the same for their parks and fields, McCollum said.

“Our thinking is the association would have monitors that would be responsible like the baseball and football associations who police their own fields,” McCollum said.

County Commission Chairman Jack Smith said he liked the idea of creating an association and wanted the county to do anything it can “to help nurture that.”

Krakeel said he concurred with the recreation commission’s recommendation to install entry and exit gates such as those used at other parks in the county.

One option is to install electronically controlled gates so they can be opened and closed remotely if need be. Krakeel said staffing issues would make it difficult to open the park in the morning particularly, although the marshals typically drive through the park to remind patrons to leave before closing the
park at night.

There was also some discussion of installing cheaper manual gates instead, as the electronic gates could cost up to $40,000 or more.

The county commission asked staff to bring back a cost analysis on both issues before the matter will be put to a vote. Since the county is using more than $450,000 to balance the budget this year, Commission Chairman Smith said the cheaper solution will be better.

“But I don’t want an option where a manpower issue winds up costing more than installing the gate,” Smith added.

McCollum also asked for commissioners’ input on whether the recreation commission should consider installing a pay station at the park to charge out-of-county users, for example. Residents in north Fayette have been split on the issue, he said.

The issue is that the park is so popular at peak usage times that on many occasions the parking lot is completely full, McCollum said. Some Fayette residents have expressed concern that at those peak times many of the park users are non-residents.

The park is located off Ga. Highway 279 in north Fayette County and abuts Clayton County.
McCollum said the main issue would be how to pay for the pay station initially and would there be enough in proceeds to make sure the station is paid for.

Chairman Smith said the recreation commission should be make the pay station decision on its own and if necessary make a recommendation to the county commission.

“I don’t think this board is in a position to tell you what to do,” Smith said. “We asked you as a commission to give us a recommendation. If you’re not convinced a pay station is warranted and there’s not a valid argument for it, I don’t know we would be in a position to second-guess you.”

The final decision on a pay station would be left up to the county commission.

The county commission also Thursday postponed a request to install fencing on a part of the park’s perimeter in response to safety concerns from neighboring homeowners whose property is immediately next door to Kenwood Park.

Smith was skeptical about the proposal to build a fence along a portion of the park that abuts several residences and a privately owned lake all of which are adjacent to the walking path at the park.

Residents’ safety concerns included the possibility of a child wandering off the walking path and perhaps getting in the lake, officials said. Smith suggested that would be a matter of parents keeping a closer eye on their children.

The commission will wait for a more firm number on the approximate cost and sketches of the area where the fencing is proposed before making a final decision on the fence issue.

“We need a better picture of what we’re dealing with before we take this issue up,” Smith said.

CombatCorrespondent
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Issues At Kenwood Park-Photos and Video

This is the research that I did over the summer. It is pretty self explanatory.

I had to step on a few toes, but was finally able to get things moving.

Just follow along to see the issues as they developed.

The Park and Recreation Board after a bit of prodding, is doing a great job now of attempting to adress the issues.

http://www.kombatkamera.com/Journalism/Local-News

Mike

Spyglass
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Pay to play...

I see no reason not to charge out of County residents to use the park. $10 bucks a pop...pass on the dash, or you car will be towed.

PTC Observer
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Kenwood Park - Dumpster

So, just looking through these picture of trash, the problem at Kenwood Park is the dumpster?

Remove the dumpster, have the parks people take the trash with them. Seems simple enough to me.

Other than fights and people who have "spells", is there some other problem we with which we should be concerned?

BTW, the guys playing basketball is a completely different issue. But it would take more than a paystation and an electric gate to solve that issue.

CombatCorrespondent
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Kenwood Park Problems
PTC Observer wrote:

So, just looking through these picture of trash, the problem at Kenwood Park is the dumpster?

Remove the dumpster, have the parks people take the trash with them. Seems simple enough to me.

Other than fights and people who have "spells", is there some other problem we with which we should be concerned?

BTW, the guys playing basketball is a completely different issue. But it would take more than a paystation and an electric gate to solve that issue.

Good questions you ask there PTC! Actually, the problems go a little deeper than the dumpster. The dumpster is just A problem, one of several.

One problem is that the people who contribute nothing to the maintenance and upkeep of the park are the ones who use the park the most. Often the usage of the park by out of county residents comes at the expense of Fayette County residents who paid the biggest part of the bill to build the park and continue to pay to maintain the park.

With 110 parking spaces at the park, I have documented on my website days where there were over 130 cars in the parking area. Many of these cars were illegally parked in no parking areas as well on the sidewalks and curbs. On the days with 130+ cars, over 90 of them were out of county residents. Because of this, Fayette County residents arriving at the park were forced to leave because there was no place to legally park.

Another issue is the possible illegal activities of people who slip into the park after hours when the Marshall's office is not on duty. Another issue is the issue of people going to the park cutting through the yards of people who live next to the park.

Another is the safety concerns about the walking trail that comes within 20 feet of a public access road. Women who walk the trail have voced concerns about saftey in that remote area of the park.

How do we as Fayette County residents pay for maintainence and upkeep of the parks?

Cyclist
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Gee, Illegally Parked Cars

That's an easy one. Ticket and then tow or, for quicker results, just tow the darn car. Let's see at 20+ cars that should generate some funds that can be used to support the park.

Cyclist
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Kenwood Park Fence II

Again, electric gates are not the answer. The solution is electric fences. ☺

PTC Observer
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Kenwood Park Fence

Why would we treat this park any differently than all of the other parks in Fayette County? What's the difference here? I don't get it?

Do we have fences around our other parks? If the park is used so much, why don't we just expand it.

Arrest anyone using the park after hours. Seems pretty simple to me.

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