Complaints about park safety prompt city to consider improvement - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Complaints about park safety prompt city to consider improvements

A month ago, WLOX reported that some residents want the playground equipment removed and replaced at Silver Ridge Park in East Gulfport.  (Photo source: WLOX) A month ago, WLOX reported that some residents want the playground equipment removed and replaced at Silver Ridge Park in East Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Neighbors' complaints about the condition of a park have pushed the City of Gulfport to take action. A month ago, WLOX News showed you why neighbors called Silver Ridge Park a dangerous place for children. It's located on Live Oak Avenue. Now, the city has come up with a plan to beautify the park and make it safer.

Rusty and rotted monkey bars double as a basketball hoop for Jarule Lewis. The 11-year-old boy said he used to hang out a lot at Silver Ridge Park, but not anymore.

"I don't like it, because sometimes we get splinters," said Jarule.

"You just said something about splinters, so why are you up there? Get down," Jarule's mom shouted as she saw the boy climb on the wooden bridge.

Floral Lewis and other neighbors recently signed petitions and brought their concerns about the deteriorating condition of the playground equipment to the Gulfport City Council.

"We're the only one that's on the back burner, and we would like our park improved for our kids and for the safety," said Lewis.

"I want to see this dismantled. Get it out of here, because it's a hazard," said another neighbor, John Leonard.

Their complaints prompted the city to get the ball rolling to tear down the dilapidated equipment.

"All that's coming out, and it's all going to be brand new," Councilman Ricky Dombrowski told several neighbors Thursday.

Dombrowski said the area recently qualified for Community Development Block Grants. The plan is to divert some of the CDBG funds that have been allocated to another park to replace the equipment at Silver Ridge Park. He would also like to team up with the county to make other improvements.

"I'm talking to John Johnson with the county. He's going to come in and possibly work with us on building a pavilion and do some of the things the lady said, closing up the fence and do some lighting. So, we're going to look and try to do all those things," said Dombrowski.

If that funding plan falls through, Dombrowski says he'll include the park upgrades on the next city budget.

"I think that's wonderful, and I hope they will come through with what they're saying that they're going to do," said Lewis.

"Because, it would be safer, and parents won't have to worry about them getting splinters or infections," said Jarule.

"I'm very happy about it. These kids need somewhere to play. If they're not going to fix the park, get this out of here, because somebody's going to get hurt," said Leonard.

Improving the park could cost between $40,000 and $60,000. If the funding comes through, the park project could start sometime in August.

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