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Request to use Betts Park tabled so council can look at big picture

August 23, 2010
Special events at city parks may cause a disruption to other users, prompting council to look into the matter. At last week’s council meeting, members voted unanimously to table a request from the American Cancer Society for use of the west end of Betts Park. Council member John Lewis made the motion to table the request. City Manager Jim Nelles said ACS officials wanted to hold their Relay for Life event at the park. To do so, he said they requested use of the portion of the park from 5 p.m. June 23, 2011 until 2 p.m. June 25. According to Nelles, they also requested prohibiting vehicles at that end of the park from noon June 24 until noon June 25. However, he said council has tried to keep the boat launch opened during all events. “Allegheny Outfitters picks people up and drops them off there,” Nelles said. “We have no control.” If someone leaves a car at the boat launch, Nelles said the person would expect to get out again. He said organizers could keep a fire lane open such as the one available during Ribfest. However, Nelles said he does not like when people use the helicopter pad because it poses safety concerns. “This may come up more in the future,” Nelles said. Later, Kim Amsler of the Warren County Chapter of the American Cancer Society said the most recent event encountered different issues. She said organizers felt the need to address them in their request this year. The 2010 event ended early, Amsler said, after another group drove across the track participants use to walk on. Members of the other group said they thought the relay ended at 11 a.m., she said, but it was actually scheduled to end at noon. For the past three years of her involvement, Amsler said the relay has taken place at the park. In that time, she said organizers only encountered a problem with the boat launch at the most recent event. Someone also tried to deliver kayaks, Amsler said, and drove across the track. For safety reasons, she said the end of the park used for the relay must be closed to traffic. Organizers will discuss the questions of city officials, Amsler said, and answer them as best they can. She said she doesn’t think the event will have any problems.


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