See complete story in this week's print edition.
In a sudden move, Jasper City Hall announced Thursday that the portion of the Jasper City Park containing the duck pond and walking trail would be closed for urgent repairs beginning later today (Friday, Aug. 25).
The repairs could take a month, according to a statement sent from city hall. The sports fields adjacent to the duck pond in the park will not be closed.
Jasper Mayor John Weaver said he went by the park earlier Thursday and started looking at everything that was broken, rotten, overgrown or just trampled following a summer of heavy use and realized they needed to take action immediately.
Heavy equipment will be needed around the walking paths and there is no way the work can be handled with people coming through he said.
Weaver noted that of prime concern are spindles holding up the handrails around the pond that are rotten and a safety concern.
The park, which includes a walking path, tennis courts, two playground areas and picnic areas sees heavy summer use all day, walkers using the mostly level paved path, while the picnic tables with nearby grills get regular weekend gatherings. The park also contains the best playgrounds in the county.
Weaver said the park is really pushed beyond its capacity with the number of users. He said when he started developing a work list he kept finding items that were in urgent need of attention, which prompted the immediate closing.
There are overgrown trees, the rotten spindles, the lake is leaking through a drain, we are going to need some heavy equipment to do the work “and I won’t even tell you about the sand in the playground.”