City leaders are listening to feedback

Published 5:42 pm Monday, May 20, 2019

If you haven’t spent an afternoon at Southbend Park yet, we encourage you to get out there soon. The new park is a wonderful area for families to hang out and has become one of the most popular areas of LaGrange since it opened earlier this year.

It’s the kind of park any community would be proud to have, although not many cities have a comparable amenity. City leaders and the Callaway Foundation, which paid for construction of the park, deserve a lot of credit for their vision and for making it become a reality.

However, we must admit that we’ve been a bit discouraged by social media chatter about the park. Much of the discussion has centered around the lack of bathrooms in the area, an understandable argument. There are just many more people complaining about the lack of bathrooms than thanking the Callaway Foundation and LaGrange for building a brand-new park right in downtown. 

It’s clear city leaders have heard those complaints, and they are trying to do something about it. City Manager Meg Kesley said last week the city is exploring the possibility of adding restrooms, which will make a lot of parents really happy. The park has been used more than expected — which is a good thing — so restrooms are probably a necessity. 

There’s nothing more frustrating as a parent than taking your children to the park only to have to leave because one of them immediately needs to use the restroom.

However, adding bathrooms brings other problems into play.

Security remains a talking point at the park, although there’s only been one significant issue there — an assault that took place last month. Outside of that, the LPD has received almost no calls.

It’s also important to note that there are security cameras at the park, despite people commenting left and right that there aren’t any.

However, the addition of bathrooms means additional security questions, especially when they are unlocked. The city is considering a highly visible location for the restrooms and may install security cameras outside of the restrooms. Some restroom facilities have automatic locking mechanisms as well, which would help with security.

Whatever the final solution is it’s great that city leaders are already trying to fix a perceived issue at Southbend Park. It sounds like the majority of people want restrooms installed at the park, and just a few months after it opened, city leaders are already working to make that a reality.