Austintown Township has one main park and five satellite parks. On Aug. 8, 2011 I attended the trustees meeting to discuss the poor conditions at Brookwood Park. Specifically the broken park bench, rusted swings and dry-rotted baby swing (all easily over 50 years old). Not only are these items an eyesore, but they are also unsafe for children's use. I know our town doesn't have extra money to purchase new items for this park. I suggested after the new elementary schools are built, we can move the existing playground equipment from the closing schools and put them in our satellite parks. We can get volunteers from the community and ask for donations from local hardware stores for supplies. Total cost= ZERO dollars.
Immediately I was shot down by a trustee responding "due to budget restraints we were considering closing the satellite parks and letting them go back to their natural states." He also cited the increasing costs of cutting the grass at nuisance properties. Children play football, soccer etc. at these parks ... they stay out of trouble. Don't we pass a park levy for the specific reason of maintaining our parks? Since when did our levy only concentrate on paying for grass services?
It was very disheartening to hear how quick the trustees dismissed my idea of making our community better. Please don't let them close down our parks, call the trustees, attend the meetings. You pay taxes. You pass the levies! Get involved!