Controversy over talk to close Cleveland park

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 19:29:57-04

Lamar Thomas and his friends enjoyed a game of football in Humphrey Park.

Afterward, Thomas shot around on the nearby basketball courts.

But will he and others be able to keep playing here?

Councilman Mike Polensek, who represents Ward 8, is upset.

He said he got no warning from park officials, who he said told him they planned to shut down the basketball courts and tennis courts due to large cracks on both courts.

Polensek said the parks department needed to do a better job of taking care of city parks, so youth have a place to play and keep them occupied during summer.

"We see a new park on Public Square for $50 million, then I get cracks in a court where kids can't play basketball,” Polemsek said.

"It's in fair condition, not perfect, not the best thing ever, it's playable people, playing basketball games on it, kids come out here and enjoy it, have fun, stay busy, stay out of trouble,” Thomas said.

But, there's confusion over whether the courts are even closing at all.

A city spokesperson said Humphrey Park is not closing and park officials are looking for a way to fix the cracks.

Either way, Polensek said, "We've got to figure out a better way to maintain our parks and playgrounds.”