LaGrange Moves To Establish Park And Trail Rules

During the their second April Mayor and City Council Meeting, the City of LaGrange took the first steps toward amending the city Parks and Recreation Regulations and establishing rules for the new trail system, The Thread.

First readings were held for an ordinance amendment regulating public parks and a separate new ordinance regulating The Thread during the meeting Tuesday evening.

The primary goal for each of the two ordinances is to give the city the ability to enforce and set hours of operation for each of the recreation areas. The ordinances would set the public parks to be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. with the exception of the public tracks at Granger Park and the Chris Joseph track off of Whitesville Road. Both tracks will be open 24 hours.

The official hours of The Thread will vary as the ordinance sets the trail to be open from sunrise to sunset each day.

Motorized vehicles such as dirt bikes and ATVs are prohibited in both the parks and trail system. Motorized wheelchairs are permitted. The Thread trail system additionally prohibits horseback riding.

Bicyclists, joggers, walkers, and skateboarders will be allowed to use the trail system, provided they do not do so in an unsafe or reckless manner.

Pets will be allowed on the trail, but the ordinance requires that they be leashed and the owners pick up after the animals and there will be designated areas for pet waste.

Climbing on walls, cliff faces, bridges, and trestles in areas regulated by the parks system is prohibited. Alcoholic beverages and all tobacco products are also prohibited in both the parks and trail system.

In other business, the city officially abandoned an alleyway between 933 and 931 Greenville Street. The 8 foot wide alley had been used as an easement by the city in the past, but they have not used the path in years.

A survey was conducted and four feet on opposite sides of the center line for the alley will be deeded to the adjoining property owners.

Councilman Mark Mitchell noted that the city determined the alley was not wide enough for an official street even if they wanted to put one there.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Jim Thornton and Public Safety Chief Louis Dekmar presented Deputy Fire Chief Chris Bartlett with a 30 year service award recognizing his three decades with the LaGrange Fire Department.

Bartlett started with the fire department in 1987 and became and a paramedic in 1990.

Dekmar advised that Bartlett has always been a crucial member of our local fire department.

“I always knew where he stood and he was always willing to step up when needed,” said Dekmar.

This became particularly prevalent when modern fire safety techniques made fires less frequent and shifted the focus of the fire department from primarily fighting fires, to assisting with medical emergencies. Bartlett was already a trained fire fighter, but underwent EMT training as the needs of the fire department changed.

Tommy Murphy Staff Writer