Skate park to get surveillance system

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By Lisa King

The Shelby County Fiscal Court has approved funding for a security system for the skate park.

Magistrates voted Tuesday night to approve funding for a video surveillance system for the park.

"This is funding that comes through our area government district and those funds are available and this was the amount that was appropriated this year," said Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger of the $7,795 to go for the security system.

The $90,000 Shelby County Skate Park was shut down in June, six weeks after it opened, because of an act of vandalism in which someone torched the park's portable toilet.

The park, located at the site of the former swimming pool at Daniel Field, was padlocked and signs were put up warning trespassers that they would be prosecuted. Before the fire occurred, some minor vandalism had also happened at the park, as well as some fighting.

The park was opened again shortly after the fire, and has had no further incidents of vandalism, according to Clay Cottongim, director of Shelbyville/Shelby County Parks and Recreation.

"There has been no trouble since the fire," he said.

Cottongim added that putting in a security system is not entirely in response to the fire.

"That's something we were talking about before the incident happened, so it was already in the works," he said. "The surveillance cameras will just be for watching for vandalism and for different incidents like that."

Cottongim said he is looking forward to getting the system installed.

"We can't wait to get it in," he said.

In response to a query from a magistrate about who owns the parks, Rothenburger explained that the park was a collaboration between government bodies.

"The city owns it, and if you remember, we have a land-water grant with the park in order to apply the necessary funds to put the equipment there. So, it's a joint effort," he said.

Hubert Pollett made the motion to approve the funding, with a second by magistrate Betty Curtsinger. The vote was unanimous.