Fee could be charged next year for Glenwood Recreational Park


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Possibly creating a small gate fee next year to help generate funds for maintaining Glenwood Recreational Park and improving its security is a topic being discussed by the Mercer County Commission.

Facilities such as restrooms at the county park were vandalized recently. Earlier this year, the county finished new facilities including an outdoor amphitheater stage and pickle ball courts as well as refurbishing its basketball court and tennis court. In the past, vandals have destroyed picnic tables and inflicted other damage.

"Nine years ago the county commission took off the gate fee at Glenwood Park," County Commissioner Greg Puckett said Thursday. "We've looked at that just because we've put so much investment in the park over the past year — actually over the last three or four years — so we're looking at maybe putting a gate up front, charging a dollar or so for a person to get in."

Money raised by a fee would be invested back into the park, Puckett said.

"When you've got so much more recreation, that recreation is pretty much free, and even at a dollar it's a heck of a deal," Puckett said. "So we just want to make sure the property's safe and secure and we're able to invest back in the park."

There are plans to drain Glenwood Lake next year so its dam can undergo maintenance. The rest of the park will remain open. New instances of vandalism had not been reported as of Thursday.

"Haven't had any more vandalism as of now," Puckett said. "It's an ongoing investigation and we're still trying to figure out what happened, but I'm hopeful over the course of time that the more value you put in something typically the more respect you have for it. And when you pay for something it usually adds a monetary value to the respect and I think that's where we need to go; and with the lake coming down in the next year, we really need to make sure that investment is secure."

The county is looking at a long-term plan to put up security cameras, he said.

"We also had a conversation about doing additional lighting at the dark sides of the park which would add to the security as well and adds to the recreation," Puckett said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com