By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
Discussion of the topic of the installation of temporary speed bumps in the area surrounding Camp Kidd became heated between Tucker County Parks and Recreation Board Member Mike Shaffer and Tucker County Commissioner Mike Rosenau at the Tuesday, July 11th regular session of the Parks and Recreation board.
“Just wanted to have a general discussion, we’d put it under facilities, with Mike and Fred (Davis) regarding the instillation of the speed bumps up along the route coming in down by the ball field,” Shaffer said.
“What we are going to do is,” Rosenau said, “we are going to place three speed bumps down through there. We ordered the first one to get the size, but they are interchangeable. So we’ll order three additional ones to that one so that we can have two or three. So it will go from the edge of the pavement to the edge of the pavement.”
Rosenau cited numerous complaints of children crossing the road in the area as the reason behind the plan. “We’ve had so many complaints about kids running back and forth,” Rosenau said. “We’ve had the police down here, there’s signage every place, you know.”
Rosenau said the speed bumps were the only option available to the County Commission, “The only thing we can do as a commission is, we’re installing the speed bumps to maintain traffic control.” Rosenau went on to say that the decision was made in order to prevent children from being injured in the area. “ So,(we’re),trying to prevent a child from getting hurt.”
Rosenau said the speed bumps were temporary in nature. “So what we are going to do is, we are going to install three speed bumps down through there,” Rosenau said. “They are on a temporary basis. They will be from the spring until the fall. They will come out during the winter to maintain for plowing.”
Rosenau said he had witnessed the need first hand. “Like I said, I’ve been to various ball games down here. You got kids running across the road all the time. The thing is its, I can’t, after it was brought to my attention so many times, in a clear conscience, not do something that is going to try to help the kids.”
“Now, I don’t disagree with the concept,” Shaffer said. “I question, since they are temporary, can they be permanent?”
“We can do permanent,” Rosenau said. “They’d be into the road then.”
“What reasoning would be permanent?” Shaffer said. Shaffer went on to say that he didn’t see a need for the measure. “It looks to me that the times you’re at risk up there is where you have kids at the ball field and people at the camp. That’s the time when, I’ll call at risk. Now listen, hear me out, that’s the times when you’re at risk, in my opinion. Now obviously we’ve operated this facility for the last 20 years or whatever, we have had issues. I agree there is a potential, but that potential is when there is children present. Outside of the times there’s kids or there’s ball games, I don’t see the need to have those in place.”
Rosenau said, “How many times have you been down here and you seen parents bringing their kids down to practice in the new facility you have down here, the batting cages? You have kids coming down just to, I know my dad did it all the time, just to pitch to them. So, if you have that potential there…so you have children there more than just whenever there’s a ball game going on.”
“You have children at the city ball field,” Shaffer said. “You have the city park, you have children in town running around on the streets.”
Some members of the board expressed a desire that the speed bumps be removed following ball season, but said the measure was a good idea overall. There was also discussion of children present during 4-H Camp and the county fair.
“They are going to be there right to the fall,” Rosenau said. “There won’t be any there in the late fall. Not until early spring.”
“Why is that guideline being set that way?” Shaffer said. “Is that just your preference or is that consensus of somebody?”
“Its the Commission’s preference,” Rosenau said.
“So, you voted them in,” Shaffer said.
“We voted to install,” Rosenau said. “We approved on our agenda to purchase the speed bumps and put them down there. Everybody’s all right with it, but you. You’re the only one I’ve heard has a complaint from. Everybody else has been saying, ‘Mike, thank you for trying to protect the kids.’” Rosenau went on to say, “We can agree to disagree.”
Rosenau reiterated his position on the traffic safety of the area. “Like I said,” Rosenau said, “to see the kids running back and forth across the road. And like I’ve said we’ve had the police down here. We have signs posted and there’s still people running 30,40 miles an hour through there. One child gets hurt, and we didn’t do something about it…I’m just saying, the speed bumps are going in. That’s the way it is.”
“You’re not being practical about it, Mike,” Shaffer said. “Try to be practical. There is a time and need for it, but it isn’t seven plus months out of the year. We had this discussion. We had speed bumps up at one point in the past, like the 90s. We went through the same kind of process. We actually ended up getting more complaints on speed bumps then we did otherwise. So this isn’t like its a new concept.”
Rosenau expressed a desire not to argue over the issue. “I’m just saying, I don’t want to argue. I hate fights,” Rosenau said.
The next meeting of the Tucker County Parks and Recreation Board will be held August 8th at 9 p.m. at Holly Meadows Golf Course.