The December 6th edition of The Lancaster News contained a bombshell for members of the Kershaw Community Park Council. It detailed efforts of the Kershaw Town Council to present a proposal for the County Parks and Recreation Department to assume 22 acre Steven’s Park into the county system of parks. This proposal was presented without contacts or discussions with the KCPC. Several members believe this may foreshadow efforts to close the park.
During Monday’s Town Council meeting, Beverly Timmons updated efforts to raise funds for the Haile Gold Mine Playground. KCPC has entered into discussions with Play by Design to design a new playground equipment. The Town Council had given KCPC until Dec 31st 2017 to raise the funds for the new equipment. KCPC has raised $111,500 of $375,000. Timmons reported that one of the grantors had changed their grant cycles, and they would need until the end of February 2018 to see if that group would help with funds. Jody Connell suggested that due to the possible discussions with the county, the issue of the possible extension of time for KCPC should be tabled.
The suggestion of the extension being tabled created several layers of confusion. Timmons questioned if KCPC should continue to fund raise as “we would hate to raise funds for a park that will not be.” She also questions the Council authority to dispose of the Stevens Park property if it included the playground property, She suggested that in 2007, an ordinance was passed by Town Council that excluded the playground property from being sold or transferred with the rest of the park property.
The Town Council made a formal motion to table the possible extension, and it passed unanimously. The issue of the December 31st deadline was questioned, and Mayor Dorman indicated it was no longer applicable as the County Recreation Committee would not meet until January, so the Town would not learn about their proposal until at least then. The issue of continuing to fund raise was readdressed, and Mayor Dorman indicated that KCPC could continue to try and raise the monies for the playground. Harvey Truesdale voiced that the Town Council wanted to keep the park open, and their efforts were to allow that to happen, not to close the park.
In the dark of the evening, more questions that answers seemed to be found. The members of KCPC hope for more information and that town leaders will communicate with them rather than to keep them in the dark.