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Officials respond to park concerns

By Tyler H. Jones

tjones@civitasmedia.com

Deatrice Rutledge, right, watches her son Urban Rosser, 3, play at Granger Park on Jan. 25. The Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission is making repairs to the park at the request of concerned residents.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/02/web1_GrangerPark01WEB.jpgDeatrice Rutledge, right, watches her son Urban Rosser, 3, play at Granger Park on Jan. 25. The Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission is making repairs to the park at the request of concerned residents.

File

LaGRANGE — The Troup County Parks and Recreation Department is working to make repairs to the Granger Park playground after residents raised concerns last month.

The department is working to clean up the park and make repairs to some equipment after Flower Streets residents addressed the Board of Parks and Recreation Jan. 25 during its quarterly meeting.

“We’re trying to respond to some of the concerns,” said Don Howell, director of parks and recreation. “We’ve done some painting of the pavilion, and we’re pressure washing the equipment and concrete areas. We’re also trying to take care of some of the low spots where water has been pooling up (after rain).”

Howell said the county has also ordered toddler swings to replace missing ones.

“We’re really trying to get it up to the expectations of the community and take care of some things that have been on our to-do list,” Howell said.

Last month, John Roberts, representing the flower streets neighborhood, approached the parks and recreation board asking for some of those to-do list items to be fixed.

Howell also said the metal slide in the playground is currently closed as officials consider replacing it. Concerns have been raised that the metal slide may present a safety hazard in the summer because of how hot it becomes.

“We’re looking at maybe taking it down as a matter of safety concern,” Howell said. “We wanted to address that to make sure it’s all safe.”

The parks and recreation department has also placed new mulch in the playground.

Howell said he knows the minor fixes aren’t complete overhauls of the park, but he’s hoping people will appreciate the efforts that county officials have been able to make in the short term.

“We’re hoping that people are pleased with our response,” he said. “These are things that we had on our to-do list and the county’s been real helpful trying to get it done.”

Responsibility for the park, although owned by the city, falls under the county’s recreation department because of an agreement signed between the two governments aimed at splitting county property tax revenue more equitably throughout the county.

The city of LaGrange doesn’t have a parks department, rather the cash-strapped county is responsible for the maintenance of the park. Atop that, the Troup County School System is also involved. Because nearby LaGrange High School uses the ball fields, the school system is responsible for that side of the park’s maintenance.

With so many entities involved in the park, the source of funding for a proposed major overhaul hasn’t been decided and the Granger Park master plan is on hold.

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.