Restrooms are for No. 1: Parks Board lists priorities for projects, upgrades at Millennium

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Updates to restrooms at Millennium Park will be a top priority for the Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Board in 2017. Bathroom improvements are the No. 1 issue on a priority list for projects and upgrades that the board approved at its regular meeting last week.

At the previous board meeting in December, Parks and Rec Director John Drake presented a list to the board of possible park updates and projects.

On the list were possible upgrades like additional tables and benches; restroom upgrades and shade covers over spectator seating; additional parking areas for soccer and near the skate park; and repaving the baseball parking area.  

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The prioritized restroom upgrades include revamping lights, urinals, floors and walls. 

The item on the list that received the most discussion was the possibility of adding security cameras to the park, specifically at the baseball complex, in the front entrance area and by the fairgrounds exit. 

Drake said there are cameras located at the soccer fields and the central playground, but the baseball complex is lacking one. 

Board member Bryce Perry recommended the security issue be switched with the priority above it on the list, which was new landscaping and tree planting project for the softball complex. 

The matter of landscaping is more aesthetic in nature, he said, and the matter of the security cameras deals with safety. 

“I would rather do safety over aesthetics,” chairman Roger Ross said. 

Drake suggested the item could even be listed as the second priority under the restroom updates. 

Perry said if there is a legitimate safety reason, then it should be moved up. 

“All it would take is one instance of a kid being taken or getting lost,” board member Heather Wheeler said. 

The board approved the safety item be moved up to the second item on the list under restroom upgrades. 

Wheeler said with the amount of usage the baseball facility gets, there needs to be something out there that keeps the community safe.

“Those were very important cameras when the skatepark first came in,” Drake said.

Parks and Rec did receive bids for cameras a couple of years ago, but there wasn’t enough funding for them, so the project was pushed back.

In addition to adding a camera to the baseball complex, Drake said one would be needed at the fence between the fairgrounds and the parks. 

He said they would also need to “reinitiate a motion camera at the gate in order to get license plates.” 

Drake said there have been several people responsible for crimes and other incidents in the park who have been tracked down when a camera was set up appropriately to capture license plates of vehicles. 

Other priorities on the list are signage, tables, benches and water fountains; sports field repairs; paving the soccer parking lot and adding parking to the basketball area; building a lake pier; baseball paving; a PA system in the softball complex; and repairing the multipurpose building.