By Sheena Baker
Daily Times Leader
Take a ride down Highway 45 Alternate South, look to your left and you’ll find one of West Point’s city parks lacking the enhancements it needs to attract more patrons for recreational activities.
The very look of Zuber Park and it’s lack of colorful playground equipment has been the topic of discussion around West Point for quite some time, and Tuesday night the issue came before the West Point Board of Mayor and Selectmen once again.
Ward 3 Selectman Charles Collins inquired to James Crowley, director of Parks and Recreation, about enhancements that Collins feels should have already been made to Zuber Park. Enhancements, such as a newly constructed walking trail and new lighting at the part are a start, Collins said, to improving its look.
“We’ve been dealing with this for over one year,” Collins said.
Nearly 80 patrons utilize Zuber Park on a daily basis, some of whom have concerns about the condition of the walkway, which Collins said poses a safety risks to those walking along it each day.
“We have not gotten those problems taken care of, and I guess my question to you (Crowley) is why haven’t we taken care of those problems within a year?” Collins asked. “I just don’t understand, the way this park is being utilized daily, why we cannot enhance it, beautify it and make it safe. I don’t understand that.”
Crowley said the only hold up has been getting the go ahead from the West Point Finance Committee to fix the walkway and replace the lights. He said the Finance Committee works to see when the right time would be to make the purchases and begin the projects. The construction of the walkway will run between $8,000 and $10,000, he said. At this point no definite date has been given to the Parks and Recreation to begin the work.
Crowley said he has continued to keep communication open between different department heads to get the work done at Zuber.
“It’s something that’s very vital, and I feel like we are going to get it done, but I still have not been able to get a date as to when we can do either,” Crowley said. “If we’re looking at it from a budget standpoint there’s nothing stopping us from getting it done, but at the same time we do have to have someone to say here’s the approval. I can ask for it, I can recommend it, I can show that we do have it, but at the same time you know how the system works. You have to go through a (purchase order) to get it approved.”
Water and Light Superintendent Dwight Prisock said new lights and poles have been ordered, but “neither have came in.” He said the lights were specially ordered and isn’t sure if there are some on the shelves or if they’re having to be manufactured. The cost of the lighting and poles, Prisock said, is about $2500, which the Electric Department will expend and be reimbursed for by Parks and Recreation. It could be two to eight weeks before the lights come in, he said.
“I think it’s in the works,” said Mayor Scott Ross. “There’s been an awful lot of work going on in parks around the city...There have already been some improvement made on Zuber Park. The half court at Zuber was enhanced with lighting last year. It’s all ongoing. It’s not free. It does have a cost, but we’re getting that taken care of.”