Park Tops Workshop Agenda

BLYTHEWOOD (April 13, 2016) – Choosing a security system for the Park and Manor and placing restrictions on the use of grills and bounce houses in the Park will be two of several topics discussed by Town Council at its monthly workshop on Thursday, April 14, at The Manor.

“We expect to have several proposals for security systems available at the workshop,” Town Administrator Gary Parker told The Voice.

Council has, for a couple of months, been discussing the purchase of a security camera system for the Town Park, Hoffman House and Manor.

“Staff has felt that some kind of security system should be installed given the vandalism in the park and other potential issues,” Parker said. “Such a system would cover most of the Town Complex.”

Council is considering a system that will record footage of all activity around Town Hall, Doko Manor, the public restrooms, fields behind Doko Manor and several other locations around the property as well as record the license tags of all cars entering and exiting the complex from Langford Road.

Grills and Bounce Houses

In a workshop preview packet, Parker noted that he felt it was time Council addressed the increasing number of inquiries the Town is receiving about the use of grills and bounce houses for private events in the park.

“Most parks that allow grilling of food have a designated area with picnic shelters and tables,” Parker said. “If we establish a designated area, possibly with fixed-in-place grills, that may be fine. But it’s probably not a good idea to let people bring their own grills and cook food anywhere they have rented some space for their event. I have misgivings about that Park area getting messy with spilled grease or ashes. There is a reason that states, counties and other municipalities have established picnic areas,” Parker added.

Parker said the Town had budgeted for and picked out picnic tables.

“But we have not designated a picnic area,” he continued. Parker said the Park’s picnic area should probably be away from the playground, ball fields and amphitheater.

Bounce Houses

As for bounce houses at private events in the park, Parker suggested Council consider some of the tragic news stories about the inflatable play houses. He said the Town’s Municipal Association of South Carolina Risk Management team recommends against the Town allowing the use of bounce houses in the park.

“There have been several incidents over the year, becoming more frequent with more frequent use of these, in which windy conditions caused them to blow over and, in rare cases, actually become airborne causing serious injury and fatalities,” Parker said.

During the workshop, Council is expected to address whether to allow the use of mechanical rides at private events in the Park such as train ride and hay rides.

Also on the agenda are discussions about the placement of way finding signs in the downtown area, increasing the number of Wi-Fi ‘hot spots’ in the town and painting the Town Hall.

The workshop is set for 9 a.m., Thursday at The Manor and is open to the public.


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