Columbus proposes approval process for veteran’s park use

Published 3:43 pm Monday, October 29, 2012

After having groups and individuals request to use Columbus’ Veterans Park, the town is coming up with an application and approval process for its public use.

Columbus Town Council met Thursday, Oct. 18 and reviewed a proposed policy and form for organizations to reserve the park.

Council had some discussion on the issue when Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre proposed a small deposit for use to avoid town employees having to clean up the park.

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“We’ve had groups and individuals contact us for use of veteran’s park for certain occasions and the town doesn’t have any parameters,” McIntyre said. “I think there should be a deposit saying we’ll clean our trash up and if they don’t we will pay town employees for their time cleaning it up.”

McIntyre suggested a $50 deposit that the organization would get refunded if the park was left in order.

Councilman Ricky McCallister said he doesn’t agree with that.

“If you’ve got girl scouts, boy scouts or little groups they may not have the $50,” said McCallister. “I don’t want to keep them from having the event because they can’t come up with the money. If you have a problem with them doing something then they won’t be able to use it anymore. I just have a hard time with a veteran’s park charging people to use it.”

Council agreed that they want to restrict the park’s use to veterans or similar organizations and not open up the park for individuals.

Councilwoman Margaret Metcalf said as far as for personal use, she thinks the town would be asking for trouble there.

“Anything for veterans or churches is wonderful,” she said.

Council agreed to keep veteran’s park use for organizations and to prohibit any commercial business being done there besides selling products for fundraising.

Council directed town manager Jonathan Kanipe to revise the proposal for council to consider at its November meeting.