FYN Investigates Condition of Blue Ridge City Park Following Contentious City Council Meetings

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Following several contentions city council meetings wherein lengthy debates (primarily between the Mayor and Councilwoman Angie Arp) concerning the state of the city park had ensued; FYN has visited the park in order to ascertain its true condition.

While it is possible that conditions existed prior to recent improvements in operation procedures, FYN found the city park in relatively good shape. FYN interviewed several soft ball coaches, parents, children, and even a Vice Principal- on the matter. No complaints were made.

During a visit yesterday afternoon at approximately 3:00 p.m.:

All garbage cans were not full or over flowing.
The grass in the ball fields was about one inch in length.
All non-field areas were appropriately maintained (appearing to have been recently attended to by a weed eater).
There was no litter of any kind.
There was evidence, as Council woman Aarp has noted, of valuable equipment laying out which could be addressed by the purchase of an additional out building.

The equipment presents a theft risk- but also a safety and legal liability- because children could be injured while ‘playing’ around such equipment.

During a recent council meeting, Ms. Arp withdrew a potential motion to require that the ball fields be mowed every Friday.

Aarp apparently did so,ostensibly, in an effort to ensure that the ball fields were regularly maintained.

She later withdrew her motion following lengthy discussion and informal resolutions regarding the matter.

Fannin High school Booster Club President, Heather Collis, spoke regarding the issue of the softball fields at length during the meeting- often commending the city operations staff.

She emphasized that she was not speaking for the high school but for the booster club.

Ms. Collis stated that the city operations staff, the high school, and booster club worked as a team to ensure that the ball fields were maintained.

Collis acknowledged that maintaining the fields was difficult, particularly during the rainy season. She expressed appreciation that the staff continually made efforts to be flexible as to the weather and the needs of the team-often altering their work schedules to see that the grounds were maintained.

FYN will continue to monitor the situation in light of the on-going ‘tit for tat’ amidst the city council which appears to be in perpetual conflict over the matter.


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