Augusta, Ga. (WJBF) – Pendleton King Park is one of the city’s most popular, with supporters saying it has no business being on a list for closing.
“We’re horribly disappointed we’re hoping this will not come to fruition, we moved here not quite two years ago from Charleston because the park was here,” said Berita Martin.
City leaders on the move taking a bus to tour ten parks the Rec department recommended the city should get away from, but closing parks is not an easy decision.
“All of these parks are significant like I said to each of the neighborhoods, we really don’t want to close any parks at the same time I think we’re going to have to look at the money belt at the same time,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.
Those parks that we visited today, they have a direct relationship to the neighborhoods in which they served, so we can’t lose sight of that,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.
The parks on the list are either not owned by the city, near other parks underused, or in need major repairs.
“It’s about resources, and if we don’t have the dollars to do what we need to do, it poses other challenges in terms of safety it’s just not fair to the citizens, so we have to make those tough decisions,” said Recreation and Parks Director Maurice McDowell.
At Vineland, the park bus tour was greeted with signs saying the neighbors want an investment and the small park to stay open.
It’s the only park we got and one of the answers we got, we could send our kids across the street to Washington Road, who is going to send a five-year-old or six-year-old across Washington Road to go to a park,” said neighborhood resident Gene Salet.
City leaders did not get off the bus at Vineland to talk with residents.
“I was disappointed, I mean it seems like they could have taken the time to step out and look around a little bit,” said resident Jim Graves.
When it comes to these troubled Rec sites city leaders have looked around but making a final decision on their future will be no walk in the park.