Stunting, speeding, partying and vandalism have residents and council members asking for additional security measures near Crescent Acre Park.
On Monday, Ward 6 Coun. Blake Edwards brought forward a motion asking for a report on installing security cameras, bollards and speed bumps in the park’s parking lot. Edwards said it was unfortunate that the city needed to take such an action, but given the rise in destructive activity it was the best option.
“There are lots of (family) things that are in the park, including ball diamonds and splash parks and an outdoor rink,” Edwards said following Monday’s council meeting. “We just want it to be a good, healthy place to utilize.”
Edwards said it’s difficult to get police to deal with the problem because the perpetrators are typically gone by the time an officer arrives on the scene. He added that the Prince Albert Police Service has ramped up their presence in the area, but there are still problems.
“Everybody knows in the city that (the police have) higher priorities often,” Edwards said during the meeting. “When calls are made and police arrive, the problem is already gone, and that’s part of the issue.”
Edwards added that although other community clubs may face similar issues, the Crescent Acres club is unique. He said residents from all over the city use the ball diamonds right next to the park, so everyone is affected when the area gets vandalized. He also said city crews are constantly having to come in and clean up the area.
Ward 5 Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick said he’s noticed similar issues with the unsafe parking lot conditions. Like Edwards, he wants to see something done to make things safer.
“Right now there are residents that sometimes are not feeling comfortable in their yards, and it’s because of the chaos that’s taking place in that particular area of the city at certain times,” Ogrodnick told council.
“I had some residents say that even kids are scared to walk by the parking lot and so they cross the street and walk across the other side of the street. That shouldn’t happen anywhere in our community.”
If Edwards has his way, the city will install four speed bumps, security cameras and “bollards,” a short, sturdy vertical post that can be electronically raised and lowered as needed. However, he’s unsure how much this will cost, and wants to wait for a formal report from city administrators before making a decision.
The Crescent Acres Community Club has offered to share costs with the city if the security measures are approved during 2019 budget deliberations.
Mayor Greg Dionne is skeptical bollards would work in cold weather conditions, but added that there’s no doubt they need better security.
“I live there, so I see it first hand,” Dionne explained. “It’s children just acting out and being disrespectful. They just have to be reigned in a little. They’ve got to realize that we live in a community and we expect peace and quite.”
Edwards’ motion to send the item to the 2019 budget committee passed by a 7-1 margin. Ward 2 Coun. Terra Lennox-Zepp was the lone holdout. She said there’s no doubt there are problems at Crescent Acres. However, she wants to see a more comprehensive city-wide plan that addresses similar problems at all community clubs.
“I know that Nordale Hall sometimes has issues, and I can think of many others as well,” she said during Monday’s meeting. “My concern is that we need to think of it as a whole and not just one particular spot. Many of our community clubs struggle with these issues.”