Monday, January 14, 2013
The county’s Ashley River Park site is proving a tempting spot for vandals, trespassers and dumpers.
To counteract the lure of the site at the northeast corner of Bacons Bridge Road and the Ashley River, county staff installed cameras this week and presented to council three options for restricting access.
Council didn’t make a decision, but Councilman Jay Byars promised the parks and recreation commission would make it a priority this year to transform the site into a more structured park.
The county bought the land last year, but the site has yet to be opened to the public. Some members of the public have started using the land anyway.
Byars said he stumbled upon a group of people there camping and fishing, what could be legitimate uses of the land under its ultimate design.
Councilman David Chinnis, meanwhile, suggested the county ask high school principals to remind students to stay off the land.
“I can’t name names, but I have heard stories…it was a good place to see how much mud they could get on their trucks,” he said.
Chinnis also asked passers-by to call the authorities if they see someone on the land.
Acting Public Works Director Mike Goldston said there has been furniture dumped on the site.
Last weekend the manhole covers were stolen, and he found inside one manhole a TV and inside another a dead dog, he said.
At basically no expense, the county could use the manhole sections already on the site above ground to block the fence and cut the grass to improve visibility from the road, he said.
For about $400 it could replace the gate posts with galvanized posts filled with concrete and drive them six feet into the ground, then add a half-inch steel cable across the gate.
For about $2,000 it could install four foot by 10 foot tubular barrier gates at access points from the road and adjacent subdivisions.
Chinnis said he wouldn’t favor sinking concrete-filled posts six feet into the ground because the county would have to pull them out once it develops a plan for the site and wants to allow access.
Administrator Jason Ward said the county has instructed the employee stationed down the road at Richard Rosebrock Park to also regularly check up on the Ashley River site.