The Brazil Parks and Recreation Board met Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 6:30 p.m., for its regular meeting in the Brazil City Hall Council Chambers.
The board first heard from Ryan French, 16, who apologized for vandalism he contributed to at Wheeler Park. French will pay restitution for the damage and has served community service because of his actions. The board accepted his apology and asked him to combat vandalism from happening in the future if he sees it happening at local parks.
The board heard the treasurer's report from Linda Messmer and discussed various payments owed to or paid to businesses for jobs done at local parks.
Park Superintendent Bill Houck reported that several general maintenance projects have been completed, including small repairs to playgrounds and covering up graffiti.
Houck also reported that the pool house at Forest Park's swimming pool has had some cosmetic changes such as painting and wall repairs.
Houck informed the board that vandalism in the city's parks is still a problem. Subsequently, Houck has locked up Craig Park for the year and is keeping a close watch on park restrooms where theft of toilet paper holders and toilet paper is a reoccurring problem.
The board discussed the price of security cameras. The cameras are $168 each and will be purchased and installed in the next week. The board feels these cameras are necessary to combat vandalism in city parks.
Board President Ruthann Jeffries reported that Brad Pell, head of construction on Forest Park's pavilion roof, found significant hail damage on the roof due to this year's hailstorm. Pell found over 200 spots where hail had caused damage to the roof. That damage is causing leaks in the pavilion. The board decided to table the item until it finds out how much money it will receive from its insurance company for the damage.
Meanwhile, the board discussed Fishing Fun Day, held in Craig Park on Saturday, Sept. 22. The board said the event was a great success, and it received approximately $2,100 in donations from the event.
"It was a humongous success," Jeffries said. "We heard so many great comments about it. The kids really enjoyed it."
Jeffries brought up some concerns she's been hearing from local residents about activities that go on at city parks. Jeffries said several community members have stopped going to city parks because of inappropriate behavior they witness there.
Jeffries said people often catch teenagers and young adults engaging in lewd conduct at parks, as well as using harsh language. Jeffries also spotted a man with an unconcealed weapon at one of the city parks several weeks ago. The man was unaware his weapon had become unconcealed, and he left when asked to by police.
The board discussed researching possible laws or ordinances to ban weapons from city parks. The board is working with Police Chief Clint McQueen to research the possibility of changing the laws regarding weapons in city parks.
The board also discussed imposing an age limit on city park playgrounds to keep unwanted behavior away from children.
"People don't want to bring their children or grandchildren to the parks anymore because of the inappropriate behavior they see there," Jeffries said. "Something needs to be done to make sure children have a safe time at those parks."
The board will continue to work with McQueen to combat this behavior in the parks.
In other meeting news, the board:
* Discussed the recent painting that was completed on shelters at Forest Park. The board said the paint made the shelters look very good, and
* Said there has been a positive community response to the resealing of the walking track at Forest Park.
The board meets on the second Tuesday of every month.